Rewriting the Soul Multiple Personality and the Sciences of Memory

ISBN-10: 069105908X
ISBN-13: 9780691059082
Edition: 1995
Authors: Ian Hacking
List price: $46.00 Buy it from $6.72
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Description: Twenty-five years ago one could list by name the tiny number of multiple personalities recorded in the history of Western medicine, but today hundreds of people receive treatment for dissociative disorders in every sizable town in North America.  More...

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Book details

List price: $46.00
Copyright year: 1995
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 8/23/1998
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.100

Twenty-five years ago one could list by name the tiny number of multiple personalities recorded in the history of Western medicine, but today hundreds of people receive treatment for dissociative disorders in every sizable town in North America. Clinicians, backed by a grassroots movement of patients and therapists, find child sexual abuse to be the primary cause of the illness, while critics accuse the "MPD" community of fostering false memories of childhood trauma. Here the distinguished philosopher Ian Hacking uses the MPD epidemic and its links with the contemporary concept of child abuse to scrutinize today's moral and political climate, especially our power struggles about memory and our efforts to cope with psychological injuries. What is it like to suffer from multiple personality? Most diagnosed patients are women: why does gender matter? How does defining an illness affect the behavior of those who suffer from it? And, more generally, how do systems of knowledge about kinds of people interact with the people who are known about? Answering these and similar questions, Hacking explores the development of the modern multiple personality movement. He then turns to a fascinating series of historical vignettes about an earlier wave of multiples, people who were diagnosed as new ways of thinking about memory emerged, particularly in France, toward the end of the nineteenth century. Fervently occupied with the study of hypnotism, hysteria, sleepwalking, and fugue, scientists of this period aimed to take the soul away from the religious sphere. What better way to do this than to make memory a surrogate for the soul and then subject it to empirical investigation? Made possible by these nineteenth-century developments, the current outbreak of dissociative disorders is embedded in new political settings.Rewriting the Soulconcludes with a powerful analysis linking historical and contemporary material in a fresh contribution to the archaeology of knowledge. As Foucault once identified a politics that centers on the body and another that classifies and organizes the human population, Hacking has now provided a masterful description of the politics of memory : the scientizing of the soul and the wounds it can receive.

Ian Hacking is University Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto. He holds the chair of Philosophy and History of Concepts at the College de France. Among his many books, the most recent is Rewriting the Soul.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Is It Real?
What Is It Like?
The Movement
Child Abuse
Gender
Cause
Measure
Truth in Memory
Schizophrenia
Before Memory
Doubling of the Personality
The Very First Multiple Personality
Trauma
The Sciences of Memory
Memoro-Politics
Mind and Body
An Indeterminacy in the Past
False Consciousness
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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