Ontology? of mental illness

James Devine JDevine at lmumail.lmu.edu
Wed Jun 28 12:54:37 MDT 1995

In addition to the societal component of "mental illness,"
there's often a biological or organic component.  Reading Uta
Frith's book on AUTISM AND ASPERGER SYNDROME, for example, you
find a lot of evidence for an organic basis for autism, perhaps
due to prenatal trauma.  Autism used to be blamed on "cold
mothers" (by the then-dominant Freudians) but is now blamed on
cognitive barriers (difficulty in filtering out stimulus from the
person's environment). That doesn't mean that the social sitation
is irrelevant: people can help or hinder the ability of the
autistic child to climb these cognitive barriers.

If there is an organic component, then there is clearly an
ontological basis for this kind of "mental illness" beyond the
relationship with the doctor.

for socialism from below,

Jim Devine   jdevine at lmumail.lmu.edu
Los Angeles, CA (the city of emphysema)

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