Thomas Szasz: Comments on Inner Circle Seminars etc.

Thomas Szasz:

Comments on Inner Circle Seminars etc.

From Professor Thomas Szasz (26 June 2012):

I am delighted about the success of the Hegel and Claudel seminars. Some day psychiatric incarceration will become a valued subject in history. 

From Professor Thomas Szasz (15 April 2012):

Spectacular list, spectacular setting.* I wish... Thanks.  T

In a message dated 4/14/2012 6:31:17 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

I'll be talking about Ellen West again.

*Anthony Stadlen was to give a paper, Binswangers Love’, at the 8th Forum of the International Federation of Daseinsanalysis in Budapest in the autumn. He was unable to give it because he was preoccupied in London negotiating with the Obituaries Editor of The Guardian what was permissible to say (in the interests of balance) in the obituary of Thomas Szasz, who had died on 8 September 2012.
The finally agreed obituary may be read at

From Professor Thomas Szasz (1 April 2012):

I wish I could be there (a chronic condition). What a program!
Love, Tom.

From Professor Thomas Szasz (13 March 2012):

Good summary. As you know, we agree completely about this.
In a message dated 3/12/2012 6:31:32 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:
The first seminar, on 25 March, has the title, Freud as Existential Analyst. Existential psychotherapy and psychoanalysis are often taught nowadays as if they were diametrically opposed disciplines. But this is a tragic misunderstanding: an ill-informed and destructive splitting. The pioneering existential analysts were psychoanalysts. Medard Boss wanted Daseinsanalysis to be nothing other than a "purified" psychoanalysis – "purified" of pseudo-science. In this seminar I shall try to show that, despite his scientistic and medical-psychiatric aspirations, Freud – at his best – was a true existential pioneer. I shall argue that "existential" psychotherapy is gravely limited unless it is informed by the crucial phenomenological findings of psychoanalysis (though it should indeed jettison Freud's “metapsychology”, which he himself said was dispensable). We aim, as in previous Inner Circle Seminars from 1996 on, to renew the existential and phenomenological heart of Freud's quest. Your contribution to the discussion will be welcome

From Professor Thomas Szasz (11 March 2012):

A  fantastic series. Congratulations!

From Professor Thomas Szasz (2 March 2012):

More riches! It all looks superb! T.

From Professor Thomas Szasz (24 January 2012):

What historical-intellectual riches! Beautiful. Thanks.

Thomas Szasz
at his 90th-birthday seminar
Inner Circle Seminar No. 153
London, Sunday 10 June 2010
photograph copyright 

Thomas Szasz
From Professor Thomas Szasz (12 December 2011):

Fabulous program. Congratulations. Where else in the world do ‘students’ have access to this information? Nowhere.

From Professor Thomas Szasz (28 July 2011):

You should be proud of your achievements. You built the seminars into events speakers feel honored to be invited to.

From Professor Thomas Szasz (3 February 2011):

We are hopelessly in agreement.

Anthony Stadlen and Thomas Szasz
at Szasz’s 90th-birthday seminar
Inner Circle Seminar No. 153
13 June 2010
Photograph copyright
From Professor Thomas Szasz (at his 90th-birthday seminar, 13 June 2010):

I can’t praise the seminars too highly. They are organised rebellions without any rebelliousness: teaching people to think straight where they are enjoined to think crooked.
Anthony Stadlen and Thomas Szasz
at Szasz’s 90th-birthday seminar
Inner Circle Seminar No. 153
13 June 2010
Photograph copyright

From Professor Thomas Szasz (6 April 2010):

Congratulations. Your seminars are nothing less than a kind of super-university addressing the history, literature, and professionalization-regulation of ‘problems in living.’ An amazing achievement.

From Professor Thomas Szasz (15 March 2010): 

Many thanks for your report about the Anti-P seminar*. Once again, your account is so vivid it almost makes me feel as if I had been there.

* Inner Circle Seminar No. 150. Anthony Stadlen conducted: Thomas Szasz in the 21st Century. 10. Antipsychiatry: Quackery Squared (2009). (Durrants, 14 March 2010)

From Professor Thomas Szasz (15 March 2010): 


Ask of all-healing, all-consoling thought
Salve and solace for the woe it wrought.
             [Beckett's translation of maxim by Chamfort]

I was startled by this. [...] It says everything about "mental illness".


Yes, it is startlingly to the point. And your example is apt. Is this a piece of that truth modern, scientifically-enlightened man cannot afford to acknowledge? Cannot be fitted into a cause-and-effect model.


From Professor Thomas Szasz (10 August 2008):

It gets better and better. I wish I could be the proverbial fly on the wall for every one of the seminars.

From Professor Thomas Szasz (12 May 2008):

I have a suggestion for a title for the Seminars: Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness.

From Professor Thomas Szasz (2 March 2008):

More riches! It all looks superb! T.

From Professor Thomas Szasz (6 January 2008):

On Sunday, 6 January 2008 at 02:33:01 GMT, <> wrote:

Lots of thanks for your half-dozen e-mails. I will reply tomorrow. All very helpful. I have been working on the text of a proper acknowledgment of your help and contribution to the paper - and also the LIES book (though I will write another one for that). I have been trying to work in the words "thank you" but could not. Can you fit it in?
Please look at the text below and please edit it, as you see fit. Do not lessen the extent of my indebtedness - on the contrary, increase it if possible.
Thanks - to the n'th power.
I owe a great debt to my dear friend, Anthony Stadlen, for intense discussions, over a period of years, about Freud, psychoanalysis, and matters pertaining to the cultural-historical evolution of the secular cure of souls from the late nineteenth century to the present. In writing this paper -- and also my forthcoming book, Psychiatry: The Science of Lies (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2008) -- I benefited immensely from his vast fund of knowledge, erudition, judgment, kindness, and generosity. I am, of course, responsible for errors of fact and other flaws.    

From Professor Thomas Szasz (6 May 2007):

All of the Seminars are monuments to scholarship (extinct in academic psychiatry and psychology). This one is really over the top.

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