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From Patients to Persons

The Psychiatric Critiques of Thomas Szasz, Peter Sedgwick and R.D. Laing


Janet Vice

Contents: A philosophical study of three contemporary critiques of psychiatric theory and practice: those of Thomas Szasz, R.D. Laing, and Peter Sedgwick. It argues that Szasz's attack is based on a theory of persons and community structured by autonomy, while Sedgwick relies on an organic model of community and personhood. Laing's critique is criticized for attempting to articulate a theory of personhood which fails to ground itself in a coherent theory of community.