Mercer 's play caused a sensation. Senior psychiatric experts fell over themselves to claim that Kate Anna Cropper was not schizophrenic but 'merely' hysterical and depressed - like a vast proportion of the population, who exhibited similar symptoms. They found the play irresponsible and objected to the way some of the staff who treat Kate were portrayed. Mercer himself had been hospitalised after a nervous breakdown and had first-hand experience of psychoanalysis. The controversy was such that he appeared on the TV arts programme Late Night Line Up BBC, to deny that he had any particular theory or practice in mind, but fellow dramatist Dennis Potter , writing in the New Statesman , pointed out that the play "completely supported the arguments and theories of R.
Laing , who believes that schizophrenia is more a particular style of communication than an organic disease of the brain". Mercer had drawn on Laing 's book, Sanity and Madness in the Family for the play, and was thus accused of making propaganda and not art.
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Mercer 's device of the unseen questioner expertly drew the viewers in, "as colluding participants rather than cool observers" Potter again. Mercer ruthlessly and cleverly exposes the hypocrisy of Kate's terrible mother, her father's weakness, and her sister's selfishness.
Between them, they have so eroded Kate's confidence and self-esteem that she is incapable of taking control of her own life, and she is trapped in an increasingly suffocating existence as she grows to adulthood. Mercer builds towards his highly dramatic ending most effectively by showing so vividly the effects of this home life on her behaviour, so that the doctor's cool assertion to his students comes as a great shock. The ending is more hopeful than the later film version Family Life , d. Loach , , as the medical students gradually question and challenge the doctor's conclusions; the film stops before the students have a chance to speak.
Click titles to see or read more. Show full synopsis. We want freedom, but also security. We want honesty, but it better be flattering. Life is experienced in shades of dubious gray but must often be lived with black and white consistency, at least if we want to prove reliable to others. Tucking our ambivalences under the rug is perfectly understandable, and not just because our culture puts a high premium on integrity. We all prefer the objects and tools we use to be reliable and we prefer the same from people we interact with, so of course we would want to come across as consistent.
The greater the intimacy , the greater the premium we put on consistency.
Be in two minds in a sentence
Life is experienced as conflicting impulses, but we do better socially when we appear consistent. To play well with others we try to keep our conflicting impulses from showing.
Ideally, we would be as consistent as we pretend to be. But short of that, which is better: to claim to be consistent when we aren't, or to admit that we are tugged in opposite directions? You would read that as a lack of integrity, as well you should. So there are really two definitions of integrity. We all do. I find people are inconsistent because, in that moment, the true selves are at battle with their selves in the moment. Nicely put and a different perspective with a long history.
I think of the true self as truly conflicted. I don't believe that if we remove layer after layer of circumstances we'd find anyone with a pure and clear consistent motivation.
be in two minds
But that's me. There are many people who subscribe to the authentic self model. I'm just not one of them. Curiously, what model do find, with a Ph. D in the field, works best for you? Yay I'm always on the lookout for a different outlook. After all, as it says in the title, can't look at everything objectively unless I have two minds about it ;. Thank you for your curiosity. It is impressive to me to see you wondering like that. Not many do. We tend to let intuition be our guide and then stick with it. I'm going to have trouble naming modern psychologists who argue that we don't have one pure mind and circumstantial variations on it.
There are lots I'm sure. My embrace of the alternative model, that we are inherently of many minds goes back to pretty fundamental sources, both in intellectual history and biology.
In intellectual history all the way back to a debate between Plato and Aristotle. Plato tended to see reality as clear distinctions we have trouble making out because of the confusing fog of experience. If we can get through the fog we will find in reality pure truth, virtue and beauty. For example, he ended up arguing a fall from grace approach. Our athentic selves know what to do. We have an essentially good nature. We've just forgotten it, swayed by circumstances as you suggest.
Aristotle tended to argue that we're all stuck between the horns of dilemmas, or you could say the perils of extremes on either side of some choice. His approach suggests and I'm with him on this that fundamental reality is a fog in which we try to discern practical distinctions. Aristotle's approach is echoed in the Serenity prayer.
We quest for the wisdom to discern the differences that make a difference. Life isn't like a crossword puzzle with the right solution written on some back page. We build the road as we travel it. There's no authentic right answer already out there to discover. Aristotle's approach to morality lives on in what's called virtue ethics. This for example about it:.
The most significant aspect of this mindset is the wholehearted acceptance of a certain range of considerations as reasons for action. An honest person cannot be identified simply as one who, for example, practices honest dealing, and does not cheat. An honest person cannot be identified simply as one who, for example, always tells the truth, nor even as one who always tells the truth because it is the truth, for one can have the virtue of honesty without being tactless or indiscreet.
Freud describes the psyche as a negotiation between impulse id and internalized social norms super-ego mediated by the self ego. That's an example of a version of psychology that doesn't start with a true and pure self.
Then there's deep biology. I work mostly on the origins of life, in other words what are selves and aims anyway and how did they emerge from physics and chemistry. I've been working with Terrence Deacon on the origin of the most primitive capacity to interpret one's world, discerning what would enable survival and reproduction, in other words self-regeneration.
In this research it becomes obvious to me that ethical dilemmas basically tough judgment calls about what to do are decidedly more fundamental than ethical principles. For example, what to be open and closed to. We all have to eat but we better not eat poison.
We all need selective membranes that let in some stuff and not other stuff, the stuff we can change into energy, not the stuff we can't. We can guess wrong, missing out on good things to eat or eating stuff that will kill us. I apply that all the way up to us. For example, the tough judgment call about what to join and what to avoid, who to partner with and who to keep at a greater distance. I get a lot from Charles Peirce, the philosopher who founded pragmatism and semiotics studying the nature of signs. He advocated fallibilism which I embrace wholeheartedly, the idea that no matter how confidently we place a bet we should remain still more confident that it is a bet, a guess at the right thing to do.
Sorry I couldn't provide more recent psychological advocates of this approach, but you've got me thinking I should be able to. I guess some obvious choices would be folks like Amos Tversy or Dan Ariely. Dan has a series on Netflix. Social psychologists like these two are most likely to reject the one true self model, for example Tversky in his interest in the internal competition between thinking fast and thinking slow. Feel free to write back. These are interesting questions for me.
And the end of your note is more than cute.
Be In Two Minds | Synonyms of Be In Two Minds by Lexico
It reflects an unusual capacity to apply the patterns even to your seach for the patterns. When I was eight years old, I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. Since childhood, my biggest obstacle apart from myself, obviously , was the label that came with my diagnosis. Job opportunities were bleak, as many required I put down my diagnosis. Unfortunately, most employers chose to believe the stereotypes.