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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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Section I: Metaphysics, Essences and Sexes


13 CHAPTER 1: Philosophy and its Discontents Empty is the argument of the philosopher which does not relieve any human suffering. (Epicurus) This book presents a theoretical argument and empirical support for the seem- ingly counterintuitive proposition that our philosophy is making us sick; or, more specifically, that our metaphysics is making us mentally ill. While I might like to claim this as a totally new and original idea, the possibility was in fact mooted around two and a half thousand years ago by the Greek philosopher, Epicurus, who believed that our metaphysics determines our state of mind: a correct view of the nature of human and cosmic existence brings inner peace and contentment, an incorrect one, inner turmoil and discontent (cited in Dio- genes, Bk.10, §24). For the ancient Greeks, an avid curiosity about (and desire to know and un- derstand) the nature of things was fuelled by a more pressing need to know what in the world was real and enduring (and why), and what was not. According to skeptics such as Pyrrho, only if philosophers could correctly identify and sepa- rate the real from the illusory, and then correctly identify and define real things that have a definite, stable, knowable existence, could they ever hope to achieve an accurate and lasting knowledge of the nature of that reality. Therefore, for philosophers such as Plato who were wishing to counter the skeptics’ claim that reality is indefinite, immeasurable, undecidable, and therefore unknowable, it was necessary to produce a...

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