Facing the 'Alzheimer-ed subject'

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This panel is a series of presentations by a father and his three sons. The first is a critique of the concept of theUnus Mundus, an idea that goes back at least as far as Plato's Cave in western intellectual history. A longing for unchanging foundational ideas lies at the core of much of our culture, psychology, and theology. The subsequent presentations describe various unforeseen, destructive results stemming from the perspective of theUnus Mundus. The first example is of persons with Alzheimer's disease, whose singular subjectivity is often ignored because they are seen as a category. They are 'Alzheimer-ed', subtly enabling those around them to avoid an anxiety-producing encounter with their enigmatic otherness. Another important perspective is the modernist re-construction of city spaces that has resulted in the loss of an organic sense of containment. The lengthy horizon of the grand boulevards seemed like openings upon infinity, often provoking panic and agoraphobia, as seen in the work of Edvard Munch. Lastly, the genocidal tendencies of modern times epitomize the dangers of totalizing, Utopian ideas. Violent elimination may be visited upon groups or peoples who are deemed 'impure', as besmirching idealized social visions. Such examples illustrate some of the ethical dangers of conceptualizations related to theUnus Mundus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-385
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Analytical Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Agoraphobia
  • Alzheimer's
  • Anthropology
  • Cambodia
  • Foundational
  • Genocide
  • Infinity
  • Levinas
  • Panic
  • Subjectivity
  • Truth
  • Unity
  • Unus mundus
  • Violence
  • Void

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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