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Lecture

Unit V Lecture V – April 5.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
Philosophy 2006
Professor
Sean Coughlin
Semester
Winter

Description
Unit V Lecture V – April 6, 2012 Szasz Challenging The Dominant Ideology  Szasz is aiming to argue from similarities in the way the Inquisition and Institutional Psychiatry work to an identity in their social function  That social function is to defend the “dominant ethic” of a particular society  Szasz is therefore questioning the familiar distinction between “faith and reason” or “science and religion” by looking to how, regardless of whether the dominant ideology is based in religion or in science, society will produce institutions whose aim is to use that ideology to repress what is sees as deviant behaviour  1940’s-1950’s: o Lobotomies o Compulsory sterilization Society’s Games  Each group is organized by a few ideas, values, and practices which cannot be questioned or challenged without causing its disruption  These ideas, values, and practices constitute the “dominant ethic”; They determine what kinds of activities one can and cannot engage in; They are seen as pre-requisites for a stable society Szasz’s Thesis  Social function of the Inquisition and Institutional Psychiatry are the same  Both provide organized system for ritualized affirmation of society’s dominant ethic  From without, they may appear harsh and oppressive; from within, they are beautiful and merciful.  These systems achieve their aim through “social therapy” o To preserve the dominant ethic, society needs a symbolic offender to whom impending disintegration of social order is attributed o So, suppress some individual and moral inter
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