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Oakley, C. (1993). Dangerous liaisons: The Rivalrous Resemblance of David Cooper and R.D. Laing. Free Associations, 4(2):277-293.

(1993). Free Associations, 4(2):277-293

The Psychoanalytic Movement

Dangerous liaisons: The Rivalrous Resemblance of David Cooper and R.D. Laing

Chris Oakley

In this article I seek to give an account of the origins of anti-psychiatry in Britain and, by tracing some of the similarities with the beginnings of the psychoanalytic understanding of madness, to show that in our continuing efforts to confront this particular phenomenon and restore madness within the realm of rationality, we encounter a constant and indelible blind spot, referred to here as ‘rivalrous resemblance’. It is a blind spot that is to be found over and over again in the present-day workings of the Philadelphia Association's community households, and it is under-pinned by something to which we are all subject: on coming into consciousness, into the world of desire, we are all radically altered in that we are never quite ourselves because we are other, and we can never represent that other to ourselves. In the desire to be at one with ourselves, to be complete, we are at the site of that madness which endeavours to eradicate the impropriety of a demand that the subject appear to itself as other.

But let us begin at a beginning.

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