Choosing to Fall at 32 ft/sec²

October 30, 2009

This is a very interesting story. It must be, because I read the whole thing, and I hardly ever read the Washington Post, even though we get it delivered.

I don’t think I can take a position on the article’s content.

For certain, I disagree with this quote:

“[C]onsensuality is impossible in that situation because of the power imbalance.”

And this one:

“In a pathology, you don’t have choice”

The easy summary of my position is that mental illness is a metaphor that is taken far too literally. As Robert Pirsig wrote about the law of gravity, mental illness is a ghost we believe in so strongly that we think it’s real.

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3 Responses to “Choosing to Fall at 32 ft/sec²”

  1. tincolor Says:

    I read the article. I’m not sure that I agree with you on the consensuality issue. Rather I think that if you take her words as being hyperbolic there is truth in what she says. Consensuality is very difficult in a situation that has an imbalance of power. That said, I don’t think that the fact that something is difficult means that it excuses the weaker party.

    I get the sense that she is trying very hard to make sense of her past actions by fitting it into the ready-made mold of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis allows her to give reasons for her actions that are beyond her control. Because what she did was beyond her control, she is able to excuse herself.

    I agree with you that the general conception of what mental illness really is and what it’s effects are is just as dangerous the illness itself.

  2. Rrrobert! Says:

    To play devil’s advocate: Free will is a metaphor that is taken far too literally. As Robert Pirsig wrote about the law of gravity, free will is a ghost we believe in so strongly we think it’s real.


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