Monthly Archives: January 2015

Rewriting the Soul–Ian Hacking

I must admit that at this very moment I have not yet finished the text, but what I have read and the lecture yesterday (which was enormously helpful) leave me with more than enough to think about. My reaction to Rewriting the Soul thus far is similar to Silencing the Past by Trouillot–I am extremely disturbed. Reading these texts (and by extension, certain philosophers) never fail to tip your world and significantly alter most assumptions we hold–especially regarding people and practices we normally have so much faith in (medicine, government etc.)

Even more incomprehensible is, as other people have mentioned, the psychologists’ tendencies to actively seek and encourage personality disorders. I struggle to understand what would motivate anybody to do such a thing; perhaps diagnosing people granted them satisfaction? Furthered their personal theories and projects? It is always striking how confident some men can be about their own little formulations and theories–enough so to ruin the lives of or traumatize patients. The mind is surely uncharted water, but that they plunge in so deep with so much certainty…

Of multiple personality/dissociative identity disorder, the most fascinating aspect is that the number and character of the alters follow popular cultural trends (from 3 to 16 alters following the releases of those movies) and are often moulded after terrible stereotypes of other ethnicities and races. Perhaps this was another consequence of presumptuous psychologists.