January 1963

The Self and Others: Further Studies in Sanity and Madness.

Author Affiliations

By R. D. Laing, M.D. Price, not given. Pp. 186. Quadrangle Books, Inc., 119 W. Lake St., Chicago 1, 1962.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;8(1):108-109. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720070110017

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Dr. Laing, a fellow of the Foundations' Fund for Research in Psychiatry at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London, presents in this work an adaptation of existential phenomenology for the study of interpersonal relations. This involves considerable adapting, for in place of the solipsistic, avowedly irrational, here and now psychology of existentialism, Dr. Laing envisions the development of what he terms "existential science," with its own special logic of inference by which to validate assertions about subjective experience.

The first 6 chapters are used to introduce the concept of "unconscious experience" or "phantasy," a "mode of experience," or subjective "awareness" knowable by inference from behavior. It is this concept which is the meat of the theory, for with it Dr. Laing can explain behavior in terms of subjective experience without the individual's indicating any such awareness. This very inclusive concept of unconscious awareness takes its start from

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