HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Mad Travelers: Reflections on the Reality of…
Loading...

Mad Travelers: Reflections on the Reality of Transient Mental Illnesses… (edition 1998)

by Ian Hacking (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
1002239,923 (3.56)None
"It all began one morning last July when we noticed a young man of twenty-six crying in his bed in Dr. Pitre's ward. He had just come from a long journey on foot and was exhausted, but that was not the cause of his tears. He wept because he could not prevent himself from departing on a trip when the need took him; he deserted family, work, and daily life to walk as fast as he could, straight ahead, sometimes doing 70 kilometers a day on foot, until in the end he would be arrested for vagrancy and thrown in prison." --Dr. Philippe Tissie, July 1886 Thus begins the recorded case history of Albert Dadas, a native of France's Bordeaux region and the first diagnosed mad traveler, or fuguer. An occasional employee of a local gas company, Dadas suffered from a strange compulsion that led him to travel obsessively, often without identification, not knowing who he was or why he traveled. He became notorious for his extraordinary expeditions to such far-reaching spots as Algeria, Moscow, and Constantinople. Medical reports of Dadas set off at the time of a small epidemic of compulsive mad voyagers, the epicenter of which was Bordeaux, but which soon spread throughout France to Italy, Germany, and Russia. Today we are similarly besieged by mental illnesses of the moment, such as chronic fatigue syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The debate rages about which of these conditions are affectations or cultural artifacts and which are "real." In Mad Travelers, Ian Hacking uses the Dadas case to weigh the legitimacy of cultural influences versus physical symptoms in the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders. He argues that psychological symptoms find stable homes at a given place and time, in "ecological niches" where transient illnesses flourish. Using the records of Dadas's physician, Philippe Tissie, Hacking attempts to make sense of this strange epidemic. While telling his fascinating tale, he raises probing questions about the nature of mental disorders, the cultural repercussions of their diagnosis, and the relevance of this century-old case study for today's overanalyzed society.… (more)
Member:howison
Title:Mad Travelers: Reflections on the Reality of Transient Mental Illnesses (Page-Barbour Lectures)
Authors:Ian Hacking (Author)
Info:University of Virginia Press (1998), Edition: n, 239 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work Information

Mad Travelers: Reflections on the Reality of Transient Mental Illnesses by Ian Hacking

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Showing 2 of 2
An interesting case study on a particular form of mental illness that existed only at a particular place and time: hysterical fugue, in late 19th century France. Hacking goes into detail about the diagnoses, doctors, and individuals involved, and constructs a theory of what he calls "transient mental illnesses" which require a particular ecological niche to emerge and thrive, and disappear when that niche does as well. One of the most interesting things to me about this book was that he addresses the question of whether or not these kinds of mental illnesses are "real," and his conclusion is, no - at least, not in the way that schizophrenia is real. He doesn't argue that people aren't suffering or that they are faking their problems, only that there's a distinction between this kind of mental illness and others. (Of course, this was written in 1997, and a number of the things he knows about schizophrenia are different now, too.) ( )
  jen.e.moore | Jan 8, 2019 |
Hacking assesses "mad travelers," also known as people afflicted by wandering fugue, in the 19th century in Europe. He argues that despite being a popular and widespread diagnosis for decades, particularly in France, fugue -- and the number of people afflicted with it -- have all but disappeared in the last 100 years. This historical context provides a platform for his arguments that psychiatric diseases are socially constructed.

Deceptively dense given the short page count. Heavier on the philosophy than I had expected, but a very intriguing and thought-provoking read for those of us on the social science side. I originally heard about this book in the context of Thomas Szasz's Myth of Mental Illness, and while Hacking certainly does not identify so far on that side of the spectrum, those who react poorly to critiques of modern mental illnesses, such as multiple personality/dissociative identity disorder, will not care for the book. I think they should read it anyway, as we should all be critically examining our assumptions at all times, but I understand that they may not care for it. ( )
1 vote sparemethecensor | Sep 27, 2014 |
Showing 2 of 2
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

"It all began one morning last July when we noticed a young man of twenty-six crying in his bed in Dr. Pitre's ward. He had just come from a long journey on foot and was exhausted, but that was not the cause of his tears. He wept because he could not prevent himself from departing on a trip when the need took him; he deserted family, work, and daily life to walk as fast as he could, straight ahead, sometimes doing 70 kilometers a day on foot, until in the end he would be arrested for vagrancy and thrown in prison." --Dr. Philippe Tissie, July 1886 Thus begins the recorded case history of Albert Dadas, a native of France's Bordeaux region and the first diagnosed mad traveler, or fuguer. An occasional employee of a local gas company, Dadas suffered from a strange compulsion that led him to travel obsessively, often without identification, not knowing who he was or why he traveled. He became notorious for his extraordinary expeditions to such far-reaching spots as Algeria, Moscow, and Constantinople. Medical reports of Dadas set off at the time of a small epidemic of compulsive mad voyagers, the epicenter of which was Bordeaux, but which soon spread throughout France to Italy, Germany, and Russia. Today we are similarly besieged by mental illnesses of the moment, such as chronic fatigue syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The debate rages about which of these conditions are affectations or cultural artifacts and which are "real." In Mad Travelers, Ian Hacking uses the Dadas case to weigh the legitimacy of cultural influences versus physical symptoms in the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders. He argues that psychological symptoms find stable homes at a given place and time, in "ecological niches" where transient illnesses flourish. Using the records of Dadas's physician, Philippe Tissie, Hacking attempts to make sense of this strange epidemic. While telling his fascinating tale, he raises probing questions about the nature of mental disorders, the cultural repercussions of their diagnosis, and the relevance of this century-old case study for today's overanalyzed society.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.56)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5 1
3 2
3.5
4 5
4.5
5

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 180,265,282 books! | Top bar: Always visible