Thomas Szasz

(Thomas Stephen Szasz)

Thomas Szasz
Thomas Szasz
  • Born: April 15, 1920
  • Died: September 8, 2012
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Psychologist

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Thomas Stephen Szasz was a Hungarian-American academic, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. He served for most of his career as professor of psychiatry at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York. A distinguished lifetime fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a life member of the American Psychoanalytic Association, he was best known as a social critic of the moral and scientific foundations of psychiatry, as what he saw as the social control aims of medicine in modern society, as well as scientism. His books The Myth of Mental Illness (1961) and The Manufacture of Madness (1970) set out some of the arguments most associated with him.

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If you talk to God, you are praying; If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia. Religion & God
A child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong.
A teacher should have maximal authority, and minimal power. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Power
Adulthood is the ever-shrinking period between childhood and old age. It is the apparent aim of modern industrial societies to reduce this period to a minimum.
Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is. Time
Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence.
Doubt is to certainty as neurosis is to psychosis. The neurotic is in doubt and has fears about persons and things; the psychotic has convictions and makes claims about them. In short, the neurotic has problems, the psychotic has solutions.
Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one's self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Leaders & Leadership
Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic. Society ;Religion & God ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children, and by children to adults. Happiness & Unhappiness
He who does not accept and respect those who want to reject life does not truly accept and respect life itself. Life ;Respect
If the dead talk to you, you are a spiritualist; if God talks to you, you are a schizophrenic. Religion & God
In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined.
In the past, men created witches: now they create mental patients.
Individual psychotherapy - that is, engaging a distressed fellow human in a disciplined conversation and human relationship - requires that the therapist have the proper temperament and philosophy of life for such work. By that I mean that the therapist must be patient, modest, and a perceptive listener, rather than a talker and advice-giver. Life ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
It is easier to do one's duty to others than to one's self. If you do your duty to others, you are considered reliable. If you do your duty to yourself, you are considered selfish.
Mental illness, of course, is not literally a 'thing' - or physical object - and hence it can 'exist' only in the same sort of way in which other theoretical concepts exist.
Narcissist: psychoanalytic term for the person who loves himself more than his analyst; considered to be the manifestation of a dire mental disease whose successful treatment depends on the patient learning to love the analyst more and himself less. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
No further evidence is needed to show that 'mental illness' is not the name of a biological condition whose nature awaits to be elucidated, but is the name of a concept whose purpose is to obscure the obvious. Nature
People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.
Permissiveness is the principle of treating children as if they were adults; and the tactic of making sure they never reach that stage.
Psychiatric expert testimony: mendacity masquerading as medicine.
'Psychotherapy' is a private, confidential conversation that has nothing to do with illness, medicine, or healing.
Punishment is now unfashionable... because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility. Society
The proverb warns that 'You should not bite the hand that feeds you.' But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself.
The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.
The system isn't stupid, but the people in it are.
There is no psychology; there is only biography and autobiography.
There is no such thing as mental illness, hence also no such thing as psychotherapy.
Two wrongs don't make a right, but they make a good excuse. Humor
When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him. Time

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