A Philosopher's Madness:

A Philosopher's Madness

By Chan Li Shan

Published by Ethos Books

Non Fiction



This is a personal and philosophical account of schizophrenia that aims to raise awareness of mental health issues. The personal aspect of the book reveals the gritty reality of what it is like to have schizophrenia, and explores issues faced by those with mental illness, such as secrecy and recovery. The philosophical aspect of the book raises questions concerning the nature of mental illness, such as whether or not mental illness is ultimately physical or mental. Referencing contemporary debates, such as whether madness is a disease or a culturally- determined label, this book is relevant not only to persons with an interest in a true story of psychosis, but also to those with an interest in the relationship between philosophy and madness.

Reader Reviews:

“Through this book, I hope it challenges the public’s perception of mental health as being an ‘all-or-none’ phenomenon; it is, in actual fact, a spectrum on which all of us oscillate back and forth throughout various times in our lives. Not only should we learn to appreciate mental health, we should also accept that those who suffer from mental illness can recover and lead satisfying lives with the appropriate help.”
— A/Prof Swapna Verma, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist and Chief, Early Psychosis Intervention Programme, Institute of Mental Health | Project Director, Community Health Assessment Team | Associate Professor, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School

“I can relate to the book as a person who has experienced discrimination as a person who has been diagnosed and she portrays this very clearly. In addition, as a philosopher, she asks pertinent questions on whether the disease is a mental or physical problem. [...] I'd encourage anyone who has a friend or loved one who is mentally ill to read it to understand them better. Also, I'd recommend that every person who is diagnosed or is about to be diagnosed to read it. She helps one understand the tremendous difficulty of how one accepts one's diagnosis.”
— Rachel, online book reviewer

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