Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-0605-2 • Hardback • November 2010 • $101.00 • (£78.00)
978-1-4422-0607-6 • eBook • November 2010 • $96.00 • (£74.00)
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.
1 Introduction: Delusions about Delusions
2 Chapter One: The Translation Paradox
3 Chapter Two: The Incorrigibility Paradox
4 Chapter Three: Is Everyone Mad?
5 Chapter Four: The Community Paradox
6 Chapter Five: Communal Madness: Religious and Secular
7 Chapter Six: The Rationality Paradox
8 Chapter Seven: The Evolution of Error
9 Chapter Eight: Delusions are Dangerous
10 Conclusion: The Sleep of Reason
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