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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 II: Research – Is there a Spirogenetic Essence & Essential Female Self?


Section II: Research – Is there a Spirogenetic Essence & Essential Female Self? 117 CHAPTER 4: (Re-)Conceptions of Anorexia Society highly values its normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal. (Laing, 1975) In Section I, I postulated that Western philosophers have failed to produce and reach consensus on a correct, coherent metaphysics due to Aristotle’s illogical misconception of essence as a purely immaterial, male preserve, a misconception perpetuated and gradually more distorted by pro- and anti-essentialist metaphysi- cal and epistemological theories since. Because even anti-essentialist theories of subjectivity appear to rely on some kind of im/material essence, I hypothesized the existence of an originary spirogenetic essence and essential self, this essence operating at individual, sexuate, and species levels to shape and motivate the form, function, growth and movement of the essential self as it originally, subjec- tively exists within every human being. Further, the metaphysical, linguistic, and discursive denial of this sexed, spirogenetic essence, and thus, their denial and (de)construction of the essential (sexual) female self is, under certain further con- ditions, resulting in the development of mental disorder in some, if not many, girls/women. In search of empirical support for this hypothesis, I carried out in-depth in- terviews with ten women, five of whom presented as having experienced no (clinically or self) diagnosed mental disorder, the other five as having had pre- vious experience of the eating disorder anorexia, bulimia or orthorexia ner- vosa.42 The aim was to record...

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