Delusions and the Madness of the Masses

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9781442206052: Delusions and the Madness of the Masses

We all think that we can tell the difference between someone who is mad, or whom psychiatrists call psychotic, and someone who is sane. But can we really tell who is mad and who is not? Do we really know what madness is and how it should be recognized? Have psychiatrists made a sensible distinction between the patient who believes that aliens are beaming messages to him from a foreign planet, and the religious fanatic who believes God communicates to him via automatic writing? Is there a difference between the paranoid patient who believes that the FBI is after him, and the sizeable proportion of our normal population that believe that the US government orchestrated the 9-11 bombings? Here, Reznek hopes to shed light on the delusions of the masses-those delusions that are common to everyday people living so-called ordinary lives. He provides an understanding of madness and the psychological processes that drive us to adopt delusions, arguing that it is a mistake to view only schizophrenic patients as delusional, while excluding large groups of society from such an analysis. If we abandon the idea that whole communities cannot share a delusion, we can come to a better understanding about why the world is such a dangerous place.

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About the Author:

Lawrie Reznek is associate professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He has published three books on the philosophy of psychiatry, and one novel.

Review:

This is a welcome addition to the growing body of philosophically and clinically informed writing on delusional states. Reznek's bold and original speculations about the madness of cults and groups are fascinating and timely. (Jennifer Radden, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts, Boston)

This volume asks hugely important questions - what is madness?, and what is religious fundamentalism? And it provides breath-takingly surprising answers - psychiatry has defined delusions wrongly, and religious fundamentalists are deluded. Lawrie Reznek provides fascinating clinical and historical material, and his arguments are made with a rigor that is truly elegant. Given its relevance to contemporary life, and the power of its writing, this work deserves a very wide audience. (Dan J. Stein, M.D., Ph.D., University of Cape Town and Mt Sinai School of Medicine, New York)

This book is one more tour de force by Lawrie Reznek. The age-old question of the demarcation of madness is turned here on its head, making the important and evidence-informed suggestion that common psychological processes are at work in both clinical and societal madness, and that none of us are exempt. The hopeful message I glean from this book is that with careful scrutiny, dogmatism can be better addressed. (Abraham Rudnick, University of Western Ontario)

Delusions and the Madness of the Masses, authored by Lawrie Reznek, is a very interesting and novel book from a psychiatric, psychobiological, and societal point of view. At the main core of the book lies the conceptualization of what madness is and what madness is not-this not only from a professional point of view within the fields of psychiatry and psychology but also from a societal at large point of view. Throughout the entire book, the author addresses the basic issue of what madness is all about as well as the conceptualization of madness from different perspectives. While focusing on what madness is and is not, Reznek addresses such topics as the conceptualization of delusions. The examples discussed and analyzed in this regard are not only quite challenging to the current views of society but quite interesting and logical as well. The view and role of religion in this respect are also thoroughly reviewed by the author vis-à-vis psychiatrists' current view of delusions and madness. Without question, the arguments raised by Reznek are extraordinarily powerful and enlightening. In this respect, this book is one of the most interesting and intriguing texts that I have ever read in my career as a psychiatrist. The philosophical and religious points of view raised by the author in his pursuit of what is logical and illogical and what is real and unreal are both fascinating and of great interest from a psychiatric and psychological perspective as well as from philosophical and religious perspectives. At the core bottom of this book and what I learned the most in reading it is the role of dogmatism in today's society across the world. My take-home lesson, which this text demonstrates quite clearly, is the fact that dogmatism must and can be scientifically and morally examined as well as understood in today's societal points of view. In reading this book, the differentiation of what is sane and insane becomes a major challenge, not only for the reader but for society at large also. Reading this t (American Journal of Psychiatry)

Reznek's book is clear and easy to read. He cites numerous and instructive clinical vignettes, short histories of religious cults, accounts of Extra Sensory Perception, and excerpts from the Bible and Qur'an, illustrating the delusional and dangerous nature - according to Reznek - of some of the content of these books. The eclectic nature of Reznek's approach also emerges through the variety of disciplines that he cites and engages with to advance his argument; a quick perusal of the bibliography will reveal works in psychology, psychiatry, philosophy and religion. Further, Reznek proceeds in a systematic fashion, advancing slowly to convince us of his thesis.... [Clinicians and a general readership] would find much of interest in this book and indeed it could stimulate thought and debate on the issues raised.

(Metapsychology Online Reviews)

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REZNEK, LAWRIE
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Lawrie Reznek
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Descripción ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD, United States, 2010. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. According to the author, there is an alarming inclination for people to succumb to delusional thinking. Contrary to popular opinion, such thought processes are not limited to the mentally ill. Instead, there is growing evidence to show that large segments of the public harbor a wide variety of delusions, none of which are innocent, and many of which are pushing our societies to the brink of war. This book aims to understand the nature of delusions and how they are generated. By providing a deeper understanding of delusions, the author challenges the assumption that a whole community cannot be deluded, concluding that even very large groups of people can be considered collectively mad. Reznek offers case studies of madness both in individuals and in society throughout the book, relieving the reader of requiring a first-hand experience of psychosis, and revealing the nature of delusions as they affect us all. Nº de ref. de la librería ANB9781442206052

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Lawrie Reznek
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Descripción ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD, United States, 2010. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. According to the author, there is an alarming inclination for people to succumb to delusional thinking. Contrary to popular opinion, such thought processes are not limited to the mentally ill. Instead, there is growing evidence to show that large segments of the public harbor a wide variety of delusions, none of which are innocent, and many of which are pushing our societies to the brink of war. This book aims to understand the nature of delusions and how they are generated. By providing a deeper understanding of delusions, the author challenges the assumption that a whole community cannot be deluded, concluding that even very large groups of people can be considered collectively mad. Reznek offers case studies of madness both in individuals and in society throughout the book, relieving the reader of requiring a first-hand experience of psychosis, and revealing the nature of delusions as they affect us all. Nº de ref. de la librería ANB9781442206052

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Descripción 2010. HRD. Estado de conservación: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería TR-9781442206052

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Descripción RL, 2017. Hardback. Estado de conservación: NEW. 9781442206052 This listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the publisher. Print on Demand title, produced to the highest standard, and there would be a delay in dispatch of around 10 working days. Nº de ref. de la librería HTANDREE01263553

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Descripción ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD, United States, 2010. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. According to the author, there is an alarming inclination for people to succumb to delusional thinking. Contrary to popular opinion, such thought processes are not limited to the mentally ill. Instead, there is growing evidence to show that large segments of the public harbor a wide variety of delusions, none of which are innocent, and many of which are pushing our societies to the brink of war. This book aims to understand the nature of delusions and how they are generated. By providing a deeper understanding of delusions, the author challenges the assumption that a whole community cannot be deluded, concluding that even very large groups of people can be considered collectively mad. Reznek offers case studies of madness both in individuals and in society throughout the book, relieving the reader of requiring a first-hand experience of psychosis, and revealing the nature of delusions as they affect us all. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9781442206052

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Descripción Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M1442206055

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