Tuesday, 6 September 2022

New Seminars - On Madness - Trinity Term 2018

TORCH, Radcliffe Humanities, Oxford, UK

This term's seminars focus on madness and psychotic experience (1-4) although we shall end by looking at two (of the more psychotic) phenomena of everyday life - dreams and transference (5-6).

Questions to be considered include: In what sense, if any, are delusions and dreams meaningful? In what sense are they not? What does it mean to 'live in a world of your own?' When do psychologists overstep the bounds of sense in their ambitions to make sense of psychosis? Are delusions attempts to make sense of unusual experiences? What does talk of 'mental illness' amount to? Is the idea of 'mental illness' a metaphor, literal illness, or something else? What does it mean to talk of the 'symbolism' of dreams and delusions? And what, actually, is transference? Further details and suggested reading can be found in the following pages:

1. What is mental illness?

2. A world of one's own? On schizophrenic autism

3. A world of one's own? On recovering sense from apparent nonsense

4. Delusional reason?

5. Symbolic landscapes of psychotic thought

6. Interpretation of dreams


In Michaelmas Term 2017 the presentation and discussion centred around a reading set for that week. In Trinity Term 2018 the presentation and discussion will instead centre on the theme for the week.

It is possible that the seminar titles/contents will change as the term progresses!

The seminars which last 90 minutes consist in a presentation by the convenor followed by group discussion. They’ll be pitched at academics, graduate students and psychotherapists with an interest in depth psychology and philosophical reflection.

Enquiries to the Convener: Richard Gipps