Records of people experiencing verbal hallucinations or hearing
voices can be found throughout history. This book of traces such
reports through almost 2800 years in order to understand the
experience and look at ways in which its meaning has changed or
remained the same. Through six cases of historical and contemporary
voice hearers, the authors seek to demonstrate how the experience
has metamorphosed from being a sign of virtue to a sign of
insanity, signalling such illnesses as schizophrenia or
dissociation. They argue that the experience is interpreted by the
voice hearer according to cultural expectations conveyed through
language, and is therefore best studied as a matter of language
use. Controversially, they conclude that hearing voices is an
ordinary human experience which is unfortunately either mystified
Taylor & Francis Group
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