Pharmopsychology and Its Discontents

A fellow by the name of Michael Farmer brings up an issue we have returned to from time to time here at Korrektiv: “In a desperate attempt to get my students to think about heavy philosophical issues last semester, I assigned my Freshman Comp I class a brief excerpt from Walker Percy’s The Thanatos Syndrome.” A very interesting and personal rumination on pharmopsychology and its discontents follows. Click on the title above to read the entire entry.


  1. Quin Finnegan says

    My favorite pharmopsychological drugs are those manufactured by Philip K. Dick: “Substance D”, “Can-D”.

    But I would still prescribe BWV 140, but if you’re really in trouble, anything in the BWV 470 series can be especially helpful.

  2. When I get depressed I tend more toward this type of therapy. I highly recommend this when you get really down in the dumps, it is a real pick-me-up.

  3. Quin Finnegan says

    Angelmeg, you are a true Percyan (Percyite? Person?), who pointed out (Rufus can do the leg work on this one) that a depressed person doesn’t feel better by doing something fun or uplifting – quite the opposite. The negation actually helps.

    And Lord that’s a fine song. I myself wore out The Queen is Dead in college.

  4. Rufus McCain says

    Percy’s essay, “The Man on the Train,” might be one source. For Percy, the treatment involves reading Kafka, who’s books affirm “alienation for what it is and as the supreme intersubjective achievement of art set forth the truth of it: how it stands for both of us…. pointing at and naming alienation has already reversed it, healing the very wound it re-presents.” (As quoted here.

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