RUSS197Short summaries of the texts read in class between Jan. 20th and Jan 28thEncyclopaedia of Social SciencesThe excerpt from the Encyclopedia of Social Sciences shows modern attitudestowards mental illness, the trends in the early history marked by philosophers andmedics. With regard to the attitudes, the most notable were the observations ofKorchin and a critic Szasza. The Encyclopedia presents two models: medical and laterpsychological as well as shifts in people's perception of a mental illness and thestigma associated with it. The medical model broke the association of mental illnesswith supernatural such as witchcraft and brought it to the medical light, since, asKorchin argued, they have a physical basis. The psychological model that followedstated that certain behaviors and responses to the world can be driven by unconsciousprocesses and can be cured by psychotherapy approaches. This has helped the peopleto understand the notion of mental illness and this ongoing trend of an increasingacceptance has been moving forward throughout the 20th century. There have alsobeen changes in focus going from mental illness to the mental health. People who feltvery negatively about their illnesses had much lower chances of getting better.Korchin also argued that the term "mental illness" tends to label an individual henceoverlooking his/her positive qualities/characteristics. In the 20th century there has also been a legislative shift that i.e. stated that peopledeemed ill are not fully responsible for their deeds when being sick. Furthermore,Korchin proposed a model of targeting mental sickness focused on health fosteringand sickness prevention. Hippocrates was the first to mention madness in medical sense. Although some of hisassumptions have been speculated, he is still revered for certain approaches andfindings such as identifying "the brain as organ of thought and sensation". He alsobased his observations on case studies and was able to examine and cure certain"mental illnesses" of his time. Socrates focused on ethics and epistemology rather than rational science attributingcertain phenomena to demons which might have stemmed from his own plausiblemental disease. However Plato's views were much more similar to Hippocrates in
terms of rationality: he divided the soul into rational and irrational parts, with theformer being superior to the latter. However, if the latter was not being controlled bythe former, the individual had no control and therefore was becoming mad. He alsonoted three outcomes of madness: mania, melancholia and dementia. Aristotle was of opinion that it is trough the sensation and perception that we have acontact with nature/ outside world. However he wrote that this sort of connection isnot objective and therefore one needs logic to understand the world. Although he alsosaw the soul duality in terms of rationality, he thought that the two parts work togetherin order to create human behavior. Furthermore, he thought that the origin of anillness is physical, therefore not detrimental to reason which is defined by creativity.