Mad Travelers

Mad Travelers

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Albert Dadas suffered from a strange compulsion that led him to travel obsessively, often without identification, not knowing who he was or why he traveled. Medical reports of Dadas set off at the time a small epidemic of compulsive mad voyagers, the epicenter of which was Bordeaux but which soon spread throughout France to Italy, Germany, and Russia. Today we are besieged by mental illnesses of the moment, such as chronic fatigue syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The debate rages about which of these conditions are affectations or cultural artifacts and which are qreal.q In Mad Travelers, Ian Hacking uses the Dadas case to weigh the legitimacy of cultural influences versus physical symptoms in the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders. He argues that psychological symptoms find stable homes at a given place and time, in qecological nichesq where transient illnesses flourish.Written up in 1880, it involved a very sick unmarried shepherd who came under observation in 1857, when he was committed to an asylum.4 ... Even before knowing the neurological root of the mana#39;s illness, it was plain that he did not have Charcota#39;s latent epilepsy. ... They show up in the ranks of deserters, such as musketeer J. M., who went absent without leave numerous times, each time setting out onanbsp;...

Title:Mad Travelers
Author:Ian Hacking
Publisher:Harvard University Press - 2002


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