[Robert Spillane, “Mind Myths: The author responds,” The Skeptic, 2007, 27, 2, 55. PDF.]
The sceptical David Hume observed that reason is a slave of the passions. Empirical support for this proposition can be found in the cathartic letters which appeared in “Forum” (27:1: 50-55) in response to my article “The Mind and Mental Illness: A Tale of Two Myths” (26:4:46-50). Catharsis may be good psychotherapy (and it may not), but it cannot invalidate a logically valid argument. Since I was trying to put before the Skeptics a logical argument, I shall pass over in embarrassed silence the personal insults, tortuous arguments, guilt by association (no Virginia, I am not a Scientologist), and the surprisingly (for Skeptics) snide comments about philosophy and logic. If a state of affairs is logically impossible, then it is empirically and technically impossible. So empirical or technical ‘evidence’ for mental illness begs the question. My case, therefore, stands or falls on the following logical argument:
- Illness affects the body.
- The ‘mind’ is not a bodily organ.
- Therefore, the ‘mind’ cannot be(come) ill,
- So mental illness is a myth.
- If ‘mind’ is brain (process),
- And mental illness is brain illness,
- Then mental illness is body illness,
- And mental illness is still a myth.