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Picture of Story by Story

Story by Story

Who I Am, What I Suffer

Author(s): Thomas Alderson Davis, Robert Arnold Johnson
Contributors: Thomas Davis, Robert Arnold Johnson;

Book Description

This volume brings together two authors, one a psychiatrist, one a philosopher, to listen to one another’s reading of five stories of what it’s like to bear a different mental or physical illness. The beginning story, or anchor, for the conversation that unfolds between them is that of a person subject to recurring spells of catatonia, the uncanniest of human conditions. They discover that truly understanding what an illness is calls for understanding it within the context of who suffers it, that to understand illness is to establish the right relation between what is being suffered and who is suffering it. This deceptively simple way of talking, which is labelled who/what talk, will prove more practical and more clarifying than will terms like “mental” and “physical.” Furthermore, it has this additional dividend: it intrinsically resists a temptation toward medical prejudice—the inclination for doctors and other caregivers to lose the who of the sufferer through their focus on the what of her illness.


ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-3519-0
ISBN-10: 1-5275-3519-3
Date of Publication: 01/08/2019
Pages / Size: 174 / A5
Price: £58.99


Robert Arnold Johnson’s first career was in cardiology; for a decade it was academic, at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and then for seventeen years in private practice in Walla Walla, Washington State. Within a few years of retirement in 2001, however, he began medical training as a psychiatric resident at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia. He returned to Walla Walla in 2007 to practice psychiatry and psychotherapy.

Thomas Alderson Davis carried out graduate studies in Philosophy at Vanderbilt University, USA, under the direction of Charles E. Scott, and he came to Whitman College in Walla Walla to teach Philosophy in 1987. His research focuses particularly on Continental philosophy, and he especially admires the work of the late American philosopher Stanley Cavell.


ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-4931-9
ISBN-10: 1-5275-4931-3
Date of Publication: 01/07/2020
Pages / Size: 174 / A5
Price: £38.99