BERTHOLD-BOND, DANIEL. Hegel's Theory of Madness. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1995. xvii + 309 pp. Paperback $19.95.
This volume is a treasure-trove for philosophically inclined clinicians and other students of insanity. It explores the links between Hegel's views of insanity and larger themes in his philosophy and discusses his thought in relation to the psychiatric practices of his era. This was the reform period at the turn of the eighteenth century; Hegel developed a middle path between the opposed camps of “empirical” and “romantic” medicine and of “somatic” and “ psychical” practitioners. He conceives of madness and health, insanity and rationality, as mutually illuminating, sharing many of the same mental structures and strategies. The book's value for the general psychiatric-psychological reader is greatly enhanced by its comparative references to Freud, Lacan, Foucault, Sasz, and others.