Saturday, 1 January 2022

Thomas Szasz. The first of two Inner Circle Seminars marking the 10th anniversary of Thomas Szasz’s death. Addressing your questions – Keith Hoeller and Anthony Stadlen conduct Inner Circle Seminar 275 (9 October 2022)


Thomas Szasz

(15 April 1920  8 September 2012)

The first of two Inner Circle Seminars

marking the 10th anniversary of Thomas Szasz’s death

Addressing Your Questions

Szasz’s radical rejection of mental health’ and mental illness

Keith Hoeller   Anthony Stadlen

conduct by Zoom

Inner Circle Seminar No. 275

Sunday 9 October 2022

(The day before World Mental Health Day)

3 p.m. to 6 p.m.     7 p.m. to 10 p.m.     London time – BST

Thomas Szasz
ca. 1970

Thomas Szasz
Photograph by his grandson
Andrew Thomas Peters
August 2008
Thomas Szasz at his 90th-birthday seminar
13 June 2010 (Inner Circle Seminar No. 153)
Photograph copyright
Not to be used without permission

Todays seminar is the first of two Inner Circle Seminars this month marking the tenth anniversary of Thomas Szaszs death. Today is the day before World Mental Health Day, which is devoted to what Szasz regarded as a myth, a metaphor, and a mystification. This did not mean that he failed to recognise that people have existential, spiritual, religious, ethical, interpersonal, emotional, psychological problems. It did mean that he wrote thirty-five books, published hundreds of papers, and gave countless lectures questioning whether these problems were accurately categorised as medical questions of health and illness.
Ten years ago, on 8 September 2012at hs home in Manlius, New York, Professor Thomas S. Szasz died. Fifteen years ago, on Sunday 16 September 2007in Herringham Hall, Regents College, London, Thomas Szasz gave the second of his three electrifying Inner Circle Seminars, No. 117. What was most remarkable about it was that Professor Szasz did not say a single word except in response to specific questions from individual members of the audience. The title of that seminar, as of todays, was Addressing Your Questions, which was elucidated as follows:
Many people admire Thomas Szasz’s passionate devotion to personal freedom and responsibility, and his indignation at coercion masquerading as compassion. But some are troubled by uncertainty as to what he has in mind to replace the present arrangements, however imperfect these may be. Too often there is not time in a public debate for people to put these questions and for Professor Szasz to give a measured and considered answer. Today’s seminar is deliberately designed to be a true seminar, not a virtuoso performance which leaves people puzzled. The focus today is on your questions, and the seminar has no other purpose than for Professor Szasz to strive with all his powers to give you satisfactory answers.

Thomas Szasz is no longer here to address your questions. But today Keith Hoeller and Anthony Stadlen, who were both close friends and colleagues of his, will strive with all their powers to address any questions you may have about Szasz or the issues to which he devoted his life.

Keith Hoeller, who has already co-conducted Inner Circle Seminars on Szasz and Heidegger, will join us from Seattle, USA, where he was Professor of Philosophy for many years. He edited the Review of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy from 1978. He received the Thomas S. Szasz Award in 2002. He is one of the very few authorities on both Szasz and Heidegger. He edited Thomas Szasz: Moral Philosopher of Psychiatry (1997), translated Heidegger’s Elucidation of Hölderlin’s Poetry (2001), and contributed a chapter on Szasz to Existential Therapy (ed. Barnett, L. and Madison, G., 2012).

Todays seminar is the first of two this month marking the tenth anniversary of Thomas Szaszs death. The second, Inner Circle Seminar No. 276, on 30 October 2022, The Insanity Defence – and Competency to Stand Trialwill be conducted by Professors Jeffrey Schaler and Richard Vatz, both also colleagues and friends of Thomas Szaszs, who co-conducted with Keith Hoeller and Anthony Stadlen Inner Circle Seminar No. 258 on 14 June 2020, The Myth of Thomas Szasz, celebrating the centenary of Szaszs birth. 

These will both be online seminars, using Zoom.

There will be a reduction for those attending both of this monthSzasz-related seminars.  

Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £140, or £210 for both this months Szasz-related seminars; others £175, or £262 for both seminars; some bursaries; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra AvenueLondon N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 7809 433250

For further information on seminars, visit:

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and universities.

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