Professor Anthony David published a commentary in the
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and
Psychiatry in September 2012 entitled,
Functional disorders, Cartesian dualism and stigma: where does
the dualism really lie?
responding to a reappraisal of one of Oliver Sacks' lesser known
books describing the doctor's own paralysis and body image
disorder. He writes:
This is a timely reappraisal of
one of Oliver Sacks' less well-known works. The authors argue that
the sense of detachment from his leg that Sacks felt after his
injury and surgery was ‘functional/psychogenic’. Stone and
colleagues take Sacks' account at face value and are at pains to
label it repeatedly as ‘genuine’. Their aim is to go beyond
Cartesian dualism, a common aspiration but one hard to achieve in
practice, such is the hold it has on our explanatory frameworks.
Stone et al approach the ‘case’ like the good clinicians that they
are and attempt to ‘get above the lesion’. There is no mind–brain
divide but there is a hierarchy: from the peripheral nerves up
through the neuraxis to the cortex. But that is as far as it goes:
in the materialist world, there is nothing else. A disorder of will
seems the best formulation and is made without implied criticism or
The piece continues and can be
found at the link below - hear Professor Anthony David discussing
his take on Oliver Sacks in this free to download
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