I feel obliged* to warn you all that this post has a high content of continental philosophy, pseudo-structuralism and a dash of queer theory tossed in for "funsies".
After the last post, I have Foucault's Madness and Civilisation on the brain. The question I keep returning to is how one might live out one's madness as a valid instantiation of being in the world whilst also not doing so in a manner that is alienating.
My reading of Foucault comes through the filter of the bias footnoted below and I make no claim as to it's being particularly the best reading. Because of this, I intend to stick to the ideas that reading Foucault has given me rather than trying to elucidate the text. Here endeth the disclaimer.
Rights talk is more than a little incoherent philosophically but it is a very useful way of talking about the privileged space that should be accorded the individual within a society. Because of the way human rights play into the way in which the mad are treated, it is perhaps the most appropriate way for me to approach this question of how to live out madness validly.
Oh God: It has just become stunningly clear and perspicuous to me that this is going to take much longer to write than I intended and it's late. I'm copping out.
I will stop with a question. Might the mad have a human right to be mad insofar as it is subjectively desirable and does not lead to harming others? If so, how would this work? The axiom I take for this is that madnesses are unique, that they are not total and as such are a valuable, non-fungible individual experience. Our current ways of treating madness implicitly devalue madness and deny that the content of madness has in it anything relevant to the human experience. Is this right? Does this infringe on the right to self-expression?
No, this is not going to be an anti-psychiatry rant. Psychiatry has done great things for me. But it's not perfect and it's worth using new ways to analyse it as a whole.
More soon and in the meantime, I welcome everyone's thoughts on the matter.
*I am obliged by my increasing Anglo-American Analytic Philosophy bias - the LSE tends to entrench any such tendencies. In real life, these distinctions matter less and less but they do persist in that we study the philosophers who wrote when the distinction was more real.