Was diagnosed as suffering from dementia praecox - put into a communal ward at age 30.
Killed his wife Helene by strangulation.
From The Future Lasts a Long Time (1985)
"The philosopher leads a lonely life."
"I always felt the need to have various 'women in reserve' alongside Helene and to seek her explicit approval of my invovement."
"I went very rapidly from a state of depression to one of hypnomania, which sometimes took the form of extremely violent and real mania."
"...I feared being revealed to the world at large for what I really was, a worthless person who only existed through artiface and deceit."
"On one occasion, I spent a whole month in Brittany systematically engaging in a new sport: shoplifting, which I naturally found very easy."
Balzac - "The genius for admiration, for understanding is something which makes an ordinary man the equal of a great poet".
"I should point out that both in the written and oral exams I knew very little about most of the topics I dealt with. But I did know how to 'construct' an essay and suitably disguise my ignorance by arguing a priori whatever the subject."
"I detested any philosophy which claimed to establish a priori any transcendental meaning and truth at a fundamental level, however pre-predicative it might have been."
"When 'structuarlism' became the fashionable ideology, with the advantage of breaking with psychologism and historicism, I seemed to go along with it."
"...my aim was to 'intervene in the politics as a philosopher and in philosophy as a politician'."
"Feuerbach, an astonishing and largely unknown figure, was the real originator of phenonmenology (with his theory of the intentionality of the subject-object relationship. He also infulenced some of the views of Nietzsche, and of Jacob von Uexkull, the extraordinary philosopher-biologist much admired by Canguilhem..."
"Everyone knows that in the Middle Ages, unlike today, scientific authorship was attributed to an individual such as Aristotle. Literary works, on the other hand, were not attributed. Nowadays, exactly the opposite is true."
"In Marxism and Marxist theory, I discovered a system of thought which acknowledged the primacy of the bodily activity, and labour over passive, speculative consciousness and I thought of this relationship as materialism itself."
"Spinoza...rejected any theory of knowledge (of either the Cartesian or later, Kantan kind): a writer who rejected the fundamental role of the Cartesian concept of the subjectivity of the cogito. He contented himself with putting forward as a fact: 'man thinks', without drawing any transcendental consequences from this. He was also a nominalist, and Marx taught me that nominalism was the royal road to materialsm."
"I was prescribed Niamide (an MOAI), a drug that was rarely administered because of the dangers associated with it (especially the well known cheese effect) and the spectacular side effects."
"I have also, I think, learnt what it is to love: being capable, not of 'exaggerated' initiatives, of always going one better, but of being thoughtful in relation to others, respecting their desires, their rhythms, never demanding things but learning to receive and to accept every gift as a surprise, and being capable, in a wholly unassuming way, of giving and of sruprising the other person, without the least coercion."
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