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What Social Animals Owe to Each Other

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thomas Szasz and the Nature of Myth

Thomas Szasz's best-known book is The Myth of Mental Illness, which is widely misunderstood. That's because few people know what a myth is. Szasz approved of this quote from Gilbert Ryle (The Concept of Mind):
A myth is, of course, not a fairy story. It is the presentation of facts belonging to one category in the idioms belonging to another. To explode a myth is accordingly not to deny the facts but to re-allocate them. 
Tom spent his life patiently trying to explain that he was not denying facts, just re-allocating them. Most people stared bewildered.

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