Testimony of Experience: Docta Ignorantia and the Philadelphia Association Communities

Author(s) : Bruce Scott

Testimony of Experience: Docta Ignorantia and the Philadelphia Association Communities

Book Details

  • Publisher : PCCS Books
  • Published : 2014
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 258
  • Category :
    Existential therapy
  • Catalogue No : 37802
  • ISBN 13 : 9781906254643
  • ISBN 10 : 1906254648
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Today, there are few places left for people to escape our modern plight; the cognitive and neuroscientific imperialistic discourse of mental distress. Testimony of Experience is an attempt to transcend this oppressive discourse. It does so by presenting over 40-years-worth of the experiences of ex-residents of Philadelphia Association (PA) communities. These were set up by R.D. Laing and others in the 1960s as a response to reductive medical and scientific theories of mental suffering. The tyranny of scientific certainty and striving for 'knowing' so prevalent within our state-sanctioned 'mental health' institutions deprives us of other ways of accommodating our curtailed subjectivities, of what it is to suffer, to live, to be human.

This book re-examines an ancient dictum which is dying out today - the Docta Ignorantia - the doctrine of wise unknowing. Through a philosophically informed critique of positivistic research methodology and an analysis and deconstruction of interviews with ex-residents of the PA communities, this book asks the question that must be uttered to regain our subjectivity; is there room for wise unknowing in mental suffering in a world of certainty?

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