Re: Consciousness and free will

From: M.A. <>
Date: Mon, 1 Dec 2008 08:43:24 -0500

Apologies. I was not using the word to describe any of the conditions you list below but simply to indicate the predicament of a single mind (consciousness) confronted by irreconcilable contradictions; notably that between what it wishes to do and what a predetermined program forces it to do. I suppose that because I feel this dichotomy so strongly in my own life, I was tempted to (over) dramatize it with the term "schizophrenic".

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kim Jones" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2008 3:32 PM
Subject: Re: Consciousness and free will

On 01/12/2008, at 6:21 AM, M.A. wrote:

> Is it the connotation of "schizophrenic" that you don't like?

The term schizophrenic is an incredibly misused/misunderstood
adjective. It specifically DOES NOT mean multiple personality
(disorder) which is the common coin usage (ie not in a medico-
diagnostic context)

Please help out by using some other word or term: perhaps "split
existence" or "multiple instantiation" which conveys graphically what
you mean. Perhaps there is another single word.

 From the Wikipedia article on Schizophrenia:

The word schizophrenia—which translates roughly as "splitting of the
mind" and comes from the Greek roots schizein(σχίζειν, "to
split") and phrēn, phren- (φρήν, φρεν-, "mind")[187]—was
coined by Eugen Bleuler in 1908 and was intended to describe the
separation of function between personality, thinking, memory, and
perception. Bleuler described the main symptoms as 4 A's: flattened
Affect, Autism, impaired Association of ideas and Ambivalence.[188]
Bleuler realized that the illness was not a dementia as some of his
patients improved rather than deteriorated and hence proposed the term
schizophrenia instead.

The term schizophrenia is commonly misunderstood to mean that affected
persons have a "split personality". Although some people diagnosed
with schizophrenia may hear voices and may experience the voices as
distinct personalities, schizophrenia does not involve a person
changing among distinct multiple personalities. The confusion arises
in part due to the meaning of Bleuler's term schizophrenia (literally
"split" or "shattered mind"). The first known misuse of the term to
mean "split personality" was in an article by the poet T. S. Eliot in


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Received on Mon Dec 01 2008 - 08:43:41 PST

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