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July 15, 2016

The middle of winter and just the wrong time to get into character for writing a Naked Skeptic column, but a writer's got to do what a writer's got to do so I turned up the heater and churned out something for Australasian Science magazine.

The Myth of "The Myth of Mental Illness"

Some time ago I attended a dinner function where the speaker was advertised as coming to talk about philosophy and the mind. I spent some enjoyable times studying this sort of stuff at university, so I looked forward to an entertaining evening.

The presentation started out with a mention of how René Descartes had proposed the still-unsolved problem of the interaction between a material body and an immaterial mind. The speaker then went on to solve the duality problem by simply declaring that there is no such thing as a mind, an interesting, although rather naïve, philosophical position. The next statement led into uncharted waters by declaring that as there is no such thing as a mind there can be no such thing as mental illness. Well, it was an uncharted area for anyone who hadn't met Scientology before.

He appeared to be using the syllogism:

You can read the rest here.


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