My aim in this paper is to ask if there is such a thing as a mind, and to argue that there is not. If there is no such thing as a mind, then there can be no illnesses of the mind, and so no mental illness. If there is no mental illness, there is no mental health either.
There are no facts about mental illness except that it is a myth, based on the myth of the mind, or ‘the ghost in the machine’.
The view that the mind and mental illness are myths is neither new nor rare. The case against the mind and mental illness has been argued by behaviourists, nominalists, positivists and existentialists. Despite these critiques, the ideas of the mind and mental illness continue to have a strong hold on the public imagination. Mental health professionals and government publications even criticise sectors of the community for their confusion about the ‘facts’ of mental illness. My argument is that there are no facts about mental illness except that it is a myth, based on the myth of the mind, or ‘the ghost in the machine’.
The Mind and Mental Illness
By ADMIN | Published: MAY 16, 2010
[Robert Spillane, “The Mind and Mental Illness: a Tale of Two Myths,” The Skeptic, 2006, 26, 4, 46-50. PDF. This paper forms the basis of a talk given by Prof Spillane to a NSW Skeptics Dinner Meeting during 2006.]