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Sex, Metaphysics, and Madness

Unveiling the Grail on Human Nature and Mental Disorder

Jane Cook

With philosophy traditionally seen as the way to truth, wisdom and goodness, it is to metaphysics, logic and ethics that we have historically turned to solve personal, social, and existential dilemmas, and find peace and contentment. Rarely is it noted, however, that despite two millennia of debate, philosophers have yet to produce a coherent theory of human/worldly existence. At the same time, the global incidence of mental illness has risen to what many see as epidemic proportions. This book argues that this is no coincidence. Its analysis of key metaphysical texts suggests that the entire philosophical (and religious) canon has been founded upon and distorted by an Aristotelian misconception. Through its social/discursive inscription, this misconceived metaphysics is disrupting the development of fe/male selfhood to a degree that, under further conditions, is causing mental illness. Thus, our metaphysics is making us mad, and the more muddled it gets, the more disordered we become. The testing of this theory via eating disorder research supports a new ‘spirogenetic’ model of subjectivity that resolves not only mental illness, but also the ancient mysteries of the Holy Grail and Philosopher’s Stone.

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Acknowledgements

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The researching and writing of this manuscript has truly been a ‘fantastic voy- age’ made possible and enriched by the contributions of many. My grateful thanks to the University of Waikato for the doctoral scholarship that enabled this work, and to my chief and assistant supervisors, Drs. Tracy Bowell and Carolyn Michelle, and all those in the Philosophy and Societies & Cultures Departments for their knowledge, guidance, friendship, and the freedom to ex- plore. Many thanks also to Luce Irigaray for the guidance of her writings, and for the opportunity to attend and learn from her seminar at the University of Nottingham in 2010, and to counsellor Wol Hansen for his advice during the empirical research. With love and heartfelt thanks, I dedicate this work to my family, and espe- cially to the memory of my mother Doreen, to my partner Jan and her family, and to all the wonderful women who participated in, and inspired the theory and ideas behind, this (re)search. It is you who gave passion, wind, and wings to the journey. I also dedicate this endeavour to Kayla Wright, in the hope that, one day, things will be different.

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