Show Summary Details

p. 664. Madness and meaninglocked

  • Andrew Scull

Abstract

The 19th century saw considerable scientific study of the architecture of the brain and spinal cord. However, this made no contribution either to clinical care or cure of the insane. ‘Madness and meaning ’ explores the alternative vision of the sources of mental disturbance that sought explanations in the realm of human psychology, and treatment by psychodynamic means. Instead of being meaningless noise, the epiphenomenal manifestations of a physically damaged brain, Freudian psychoanalysis insisted that disturbed affect, cognition, and actions were of the utmost significance, and held the key to unlocking the sources of madness. Literature, painting, drama, films, and advertising were all profoundly influenced by Freudian symbolism and ideas.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.