Symptoms and common explanations

Paul H. Lysaker and John T. Lysaker

in Schizophrenia and the Fate of the Self

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199215768
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754524 | DOI:

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry

Symptoms and common explanations

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Thus far we have outlined the wide range of symptoms and deficits that characterize the spectrum of phenomena gathered under the title ‘schizophrenia’. We have also presented, in survey fashion, two central empirical explanations for the appearance of these phenomena. One regards schizophrenia as the result of abnormal biological forces derailing the lives of individuals. The other finds unjust social forces responsible for the unsettling of so many minds and lives. Schizophrenia thus presents itself to the general reader as a tidal wave propelled on the one hand by the likes of poverty, racism and childhood abuse, and on the other by disastrous declines in brain function. Or, as many have suggested, perhaps both fault lines interact (Carter and Flesher, 1995; Walker and Diforio, 1997).

Chapter.  7020 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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