Saturday, December 02, 2006

Thinkquote of the day: Theodore Dalrymple on a fundamental error of materialist psychiatry

Commenting on statistical studies of suicide (suicidology), psychiatrist Dalrymple notes,

The importance of what goes on in the minds of individual human beings is ... implicitly denied, in favor of vast impersonal forces that statistical regularities supposedly reveal and that supposedly determine people's behavior. Thus suicidology joins the other great intellectual movements of the twentieth century - Freudianism, Marxism, and more recently, sociobiology - in denying consciousness any importance in human conduct. On this view, thought is irrelevant to action; and, simply apprehending the intellectual currents of their time, ordinary people actually begin to experience themselves as unable to affect their own behavior. Many patients have described to me how they took the pills because, like Luther posting his theses on the cathedral doors, they could do no other.

- from "Goodbye, Cruel World," one of the essays in Life at the bottom (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2001), pp. 22-23.

The failing war on consciousness is, as it happens, one of the topics that Mario Beauregard and I cover in The Spiritual Brain (Harper 2007).

Service note: I haven't been blogging much here lately because I reorganized the template of the Post-Darwinist and lost all the links, the ads, and the site meter! It has taken a while to sort out the various problems.

My other blog is the Post-Darwinist, which keeps tabs on the intelligent design controversy.

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