The schizoid individual fears a real live dialectical relationship with real live people. He can relate himself only to depersonalized persons, to phantoms of his own phantasies (imagos) perhaps to things, perhaps to animals. (p77)
The most serious objection to the technical vocabulary currently used to describe psychiatric patients is that it consists of words which split man up verbally in a way which is analogous to the existential splits we have to describe here. But we cannot give an adequate account of the existential splits unless we can begin from the concept of a unitary whole, and no such concept exists, nor can any such concept be expressed within the current language system of psychiatry or psycho-analysis.
How, even, can one say what it means to hide something from oneself or to deceive oneself in terms of barriers between one part of a mental apparatus and another?
One's relationship to an organism is different from one's relation to a person. One's description of the other as organism is as different from one's description of the other as person as the description of side of vase is from profile of face; similarly, one's theory of the other as organism is remote from any theory of the other as person. ne acts towards an organism differently from the way one acts towards a person. The science of persons is the study of human beings that begins from a relationship with the other as person and proceeds to an account of the other still as person.
Again, there is no question here or anywhere of a mind-body dualism. The two accounts, in this case personal and organismic, taken up in respect to speech or any other observable human activity, are each the outcome of one's initial intentional act; each intentional act leads in its own direction and yields its own results...Man as seen as an organism or man as seen as a person discloses different aspects of the human reality to the investigator. Both are quite possible methodologically but one must be alert to the possible occasion for confusion.
The other as person is seen by me as responsible, as capable of choice, in short, as a self-acting agent.
It seems extraordinary that whereas the physical and biological sciences of it-processes have generally won the day against tendencies to personalize the world of things or to read human intentions into the animal world, an authentic science of persons has hardly got started by reason of the inveterate tendency to depersonalize or reify persons
In the following pages, we shall be concerned specifically with people who experience themselves as automata, as robots, as bits of machinery, or even as animals. Such persons are rightly regarded as crazy. Yet why do we not regard a theory that seeks to transmute persons into automata or animals as equally crazy
In human society, at all its levels, persons confirm one another in a practical way, to some extent or other, in their personal qualities and capacities, and a society may be termed human in the measure to which its members confirm one another.
Some areas of a person’s being may cry out for confirmation more than others. Some forms of disconfirmation may be more destructive of self-development than others. One may call these schizogenic. The ontogenesis of confirmation and disconfirmation has barely begun to be explored.
Here we shall look at some acts of confirmation or disconfirmation, without prejudgements as to whether or to what extent they are schizogenic. There may be a failure to recognize a person as agent. The attribution of agency to human beings is one way we distinguish people from things set in motion by agents external to themselves. In some childhoods this quality of being human, whereby one can come to feel that one is an agent in one’s own right, is not confirmed by the original significant others. It is illuminating to match observations on the way a child is treated by his parents with the ‘delusions’ the psychotic child or adult expresses.
The man-in-the-street takes a lot for granted: for instance, that he has a body which has an inside and an outside; that he has begun at his birth and ends biologically speaking at his death; that he occupies a position in space; that he occupies a position in time; that he exists as a continuous being from one place to the next and from one moment to the other. The ordinary person does not reflect upon these basic elements of his being; he takes his way of experiencing himself and others to be ‘true’. However, some people do not. They are often called schizoid. Still more, the schizophrenic does not take for granted his own person (and other persons) as being an adequately embodied, alive, real, substantial, and continuous being, who is at one place at one time and at a different place at a different time, remaining the ‘same’ throughout. In the absence of this ‘base’ he lacks the usual sense of personal unity, a sense of himself as the agent of his own actions rather than as a robot, a machine, a thing, and of being the author of his own perceptions, but rather feels that someone else is using his eyes, his ears, etc. Man is always between being and non-being, but non-being is not necessarily experienced as personal disintegration. The insecurity attendant upon a precariously established personal unity is one form of ontological insecurity, if this term is used to denote the insecurity inescapably within the heart of man’s finite being.