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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 III: Shattering the Philosopher’s Stone, Cracking the Holy Grail: Reconceptions of Essence, Subjectivity, Logic & Metaphysics

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Section III: Shattering the Philosopher’s Stone, Cracking the Holy Grail: Reconceptions of Essence, Subjectivity, Logic & Metaphysics 297 CHAPTER 7: The Case for a Sexed Spirogenetic Model You’ve got to love me for what I am, for simply being me. Don’t love me for what you intend or hope that I will be. (Karen Carpenter) My research suggests that there exists an originary, knowable, ‘spirogenetic’ essence that determines and motivates the whole form, function and develop- ment of an essentially subjective female self. But, with puberty if not before, this whole, unconditionally loved self is becoming fragmented, alienated, and lost (to consciousness) through its socially imposed inscription and (de)con- struction by a metaphysics and language that deny and demonize its existence, and reduce (pure, feminine) woman to the material/ideal/metaphoric properties of man’s essential being. If this is the case, then it is to be expected that the stages and changes in the development of the essential female self will reflect (changes in) the metaphysical/discursive conceptions of essence. And indeed, in relating this metaphysical/essence model of female subjectivity to the genealogy tracing the historical philosophical evolution of the notion of essence, it appears that the process of (mal)development of the contemporary essential female self, and especially the anorexic self, manifests the history of metaphysical and lin- guistic (mis)conceptions of essence from Platonic/Aristotelian times to the pre- sent day. On this basis, the anorexic self and (lack of) body present as evidence for the existence of a sexed spirogenetic essence...

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