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Click here for information about on-line courses this summer on psychiatry, law, and addiction with Professor Schaler, sponored by American University in Washington, D.C. The on-line courses are fully accredited and are an excellent way to study the ideas of Drs. Szasz and Schaler on mental illness, the therapeutic state, psychoanalysis, and the myth of addiction as a disease. Dr. Schaler has been teaching all aspects and applications of Dr. Szasz's ideas at the university level for over twenty years.

The Szasz Site is produced by Dr. Jeffrey A. Schaler as a public service.

Thomas Szasz, M.D.

   If you talk to God, you are praying;
   If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.

   --Thomas S. Szasz, The Second Sin,
   Anchor/Doubleday, Garden City, NY. 1973, Page 113.

Thomas Stephen Szasz is Dead

April 15, 1920 -- September 8, 2012

Rest in Peace [Click to link]

The purpose of this site is to advance the debate about Thomas S. Szasz's basic ideas and their practical implications. He suggests the following summary statement as a manifesto...


The first Russian translation (2010) of The Manufacture of Madness! (Syracuse University Press, 2007)

Antipsychiatry: Quackery Squared. (Syracuse University Press, fall, 2009)

Psychiatry: The Science of Lies, Syracuse University Press, 2008

All In The Mind "Thomas Szasz of Myth of Mental Illness Fame Speaks," Interviewed on Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Apr 3, 2009. Listen here.

The Medicalization of Everyday Life: Selected Essays
Click here

It takes an iconoclast with temerity and acumen to illuminate how unexamined myths and metaphors insidiously determine prevailing norms---norms considered unassailable and sacrosanct by the prevailing medical/legal system. For decades, Thomas Szasz has publicly challenged the excesses that obscure reason. The Medicalization of Everyday Life offers a no-nonsense perspective on prevailing dogma. It is only through clear vision that intelligent choices can be made. Required reading for all professionals in health care fields, and all those who are subject to their unwitting prejudices.
Jeffrey K. Zeig, Ph.D., Director, The Milton Erickson Foundation

Coercion as Cure: A Critical History of Psychiatry (Transaction, Spring 2007)
Click for more

Praise from George Annas

A powerful and fittingly impassioned indictment of psychiatrists who use coercion to "treat" patients by the psychiatrist who has done more than anyone else to challenge psychiatry to abandon the destructive use of force and replace it with consent, trust, and adherence to the Hippocratic injunction to "do no harm."

George J. Annas, J.D., M.P.H.
Edward Utley Professor and Chair
Department of Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights
Boston University School of Public Health
Author of The Rights of Patients

Thomas Szasz: Philosopher of Liberty by John Breeding

The Legacy of Thomas Szasz by Phil Barker and Poppy Buchanan-Barker

Jim Bovard comments on Coercion as Cure (click)

Vote Thomas Szasz to the Libertarian Hall of Fame!

Szasz Speaks

My Madness Saved Me: The Madness and Marriage of Virginia Woolf

REASON throws a birthday party for Tom Szasz.

Szasz Under Fire: The Psychiatric Abolitionist Faces His Critics, Edited by Jeffrey A. Schaler

Faith in Freedom: Libertarian Principles and Psychiatric Practices wins the Laissez Faire Books "Lysander Spooner Award for Advancing the Literature of Liberty!"

Thomas Szasz receives the American Hungarian Foundation's
2004 George Washington Award, New York, Waldorf Astoria Hotel, November 11, 2003.

"Libertarian Principles and Psychiatric Practices: Are They Compatible?," Cato Lecture, September 25, 2003

Words to the Wise: A Medical-Philosophical Dictionary (Transaction Publishers, January 2004)
and Faith in Freedom: Libertarian Principles and Psychiatric Practices (Transaction Publishers, June 2004).

  Liberation By Oppression: A Comparative Study of Slavery and Psychiatry   (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2002).

  Liberation By Oppression is now Transaction Publishers' "Featured Book of the Month!"
  "Every defender of the therapeutic state should be strapped down and made to answer the questions Dr. Szasz poses about the psychiatric industry's mission creep." -Mick Hume, columnist, The Times, London and editor,

  Read "Psychiatry's Gentle Abolitionist," a review of Liberation by Oppression, written by Robert   A. Baker, Ph.D., at the American Iatrogenic Association website here!

Click here for info about two new videotapes now available:
"The Myth of Mental Illness: Past & Future," Lecture by Thomas Szasz, November 21, 2002; and "The Therapeutic State: Past & Future," Lecture by Thomas Szasz, November 22, 2002. Oakland University, Michigan.

  Pharmacracy: Medicine and Politics in America
  (Wesport, CT: Praeger, 2001).

   Sins of the Fathers: Is child molestation a sickness or a crime? by Thomas Szasz,
  in REASON Magazine, July 22, 2002

  Thomas Szasz: Philosopher of Psychiatry
  Order the Special Issue of The Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry here!

  Videotapes of the Szasz 80th Birthday Symposium on April 15, 2000
  are now available for purchase!
  The, interview January 2001
   Link to the April 15, 2000 Szasz 80th Birthday Symposium,
   "Liberty and/or Psychiatry? 40 Years After The Myth of Mental Illness" here


   Although we may not know it, we have, in our day,
witnessed the birth of the Therapeutic State. This is perhaps the major
implication of psychiatry as an institution of social control.

   --Thomas S. Szasz, Law, Liberty, and Psychiatry:
An Inquiry Into the Social Uses of Mental Health Practices,
   The Macmillan Company, New York, 1963, p. 212.

  This is

"Perhaps most radically ... Thomas Szasz deemed mental illness a mythic and monstrous beast,
and proclaimed that 'mental illness' was a fiction. Insanity, he has continued ever since
to claim, is not a real disease, whose nature has been progressively scientifically unveiled;
mental illness is rather a myth, forged by psychiatrists for their own greater glory.
Over the centuries, medical men and their supporters have been involved, argues Szasz,
in a self-serving 'manufacture of madness.' In this, he indicts both the pretensions of
organic psychiatry and the psychodynamic followers of Freud, whose notion of the
'unconscious' in effect breathed new life into the obsolete metaphysical Cartesian dualism.
For Szasz, any expectation of finding the etiology of mental illness in body or mind --
above all in some mental underworld -- must be a lost cause, a dead-end, a linguistic error,
and even an exercise in bad faith. 'Mental illness' or the 'unconscious' are not realities
but at best metaphors. In promoting such ideas, psychiatrists have either been involved in
improper cognitive imperialism or have rather naively pictorialized the psyche -- reifying
the fictive substance behind the substantive. Properly speaking, contends Szasz, insanity
is not a disease with origins to be excavated, but a behavior with meanings to be decoded.
Social existence is a rule-governed game-playing ritual in which the mad person bends the
rules and exploits the loopholes. Since the mad person is engaged in social performances
that obey certain expectations so as to defy others, the pertinent questions are not about
the origins, but about the conventions, of insanity. In this light, Szasz dismisses
traditional approaches to the history of madness, as questions mal posés, and aims to
reformulate them." --From: Porter, R., Introduction, in Porter, R. and Wright, D., eds.,The
Confinement of the Insane: International Perspectives, 1800-1965
(Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2003); pp. 1-19; p. 2.

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