Current Psychology

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 173-181

First online:

Rhetoric and psychiatry: A Szaszian perspective on a political case study

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The study of rhetoric and the assumption that rhetors generate the grounding for persuasion have been at the root of Thomas Szasz’s psychiatric critiques for almost two generations. His corpus has consistently pointed to a psychiatric rhetoric which creates, rather than discovers, “mental illnesses,” a metaphorical pseudo-medical labeling which, when accepted, confounds the attribution of adult responsibility and substitutes instead an infantilizing dependency.