Mono-Causal Explanations (was Re: Accused Killer of 3 IsLinkedtoRacist Writing (fwd))

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Mon Mar 6 11:07:04 PST 2000

Doug Henwood wrote:

> Carrol Cox wrote:
> >I suppose
> >capitalism has something to do with the content of a manic-depressive's
> >illness. For example, someone with that illness is more apt to go out
> >and run up credit card debt on new clothes and household appliances
> >than on an attempt to bribe the King to ennoble him.
> So you are accepting diagnostic catgegories, that generalize about
> "mental illness." I thought you didn't go for that sort of thing. Or
> are you using the category under erasure, in some covert Derridean
> move?

Huh? I am accepting some diagnostic categories. Schizophrenia shows up on an x-ray according to some recent research, so the diagnosis of it is now nearly as precise as the diagnosis of tuberculosis or diptheria. (They don't know yet whether the illness causes the difference in the size of one part of the brain or the difference in size causes the illness, but they know the two go together.) Bipolar affective disorder probably a pretty accurate diagnosis -- at least accurate enough so that it should be accepted until contrary evidence shows up. But you can study the brain from her to eternity and you won't find out anything about the *content* of thoughts. That has to be social (historical). Had I never heard of ISU I could hardly either think consciously about the faculty there or hallucinate a non-existent faculty member there. We're not talking about anything very profound here, so I don't understand the question, which seems to imply that something important is at issue.


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