Professor Bryan Caplan and I discuss the ideas of the iconoclast social critic and psychiatrist Thomas Szasz. Dr. Caplan won the Thomas Szasz award in 2005 for his paper, The Economics of Szasz: Preferences, Constraints, and Mental Illness. We have a wide-ranging conversation about Szasz, his ideas, and how to help ourselves and others when struggling with life. Dr. Caplan shares some of his personal experiences with depression during Covid and how he got out of it.
Thomas Szasz was a champion of liberty and responsibility. His bestselling book was The Myth of Mental Illness. He was a humanitarian who condemned the mistreatment of people involuntarily committed to mental hospitals and advocated for personal responsibility.
Bryan Caplan on Parenting: https://youtu.be/JM0dGLRgko0
Anthony Stadlen on Szasz: https://youtu.be/wzVVLgpgLBA
Jeffrey Schaler on Szasz: https://youtu.be/7wySu4S1w14
Christopher Lane on Shyness: https://youtu.be/GrV46aVkNvM
Irvin Kirsch on Antidepressants: https://youtu.be/PtubmyA3BgU
John Nash on Schizophrenia: https://youtu.be/SizS1nOOeJg
Take These Broken Wings (Documentary about Schizophrenia): https://youtu.be/EPfKc-TknWU
Titicut Follies (Mistreatment of Involuntary Patients): https://youtu.be/e-wVwtN5f-U
Crazywise Film: https://youtu.be/IXnmBIYaIZE
Jim Van Os on Schizophrenia: https://youtu.be/sE3gxX5CiW0
00:00 Intro to Bryan Caplan https://twitter.com/bryan_caplan
00:35 Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids https://amzn.to/3NZcxQg
00:56 How did you discover Thomas Szasz?
01:33 The Untamed Tongue https://amzn.to/3NYtTwI
02:07 Insanity: The Idea and Its Consequences https://amzn.to/3aAp3bn
02:34 Myth of Mental Illness https://amzn.to/3ANgIvp
02:57 Ceremonial Chemistry https://amzn.to/3P4IBU5
03:25 How long did it take you to understand Szasz?
06:13 What do you think most people misunderstood about Szasz?
08:14 Heavy drinkers respond to incentives https://wp.me/p8ReVr-1i5
10:55 How homosexuality got declassified as a disease
12:34 The Useful Lie https://wp.me/p8ReVr-1eT
14:34 Criticisms of Szasz
15:42 Szasz as a philosopher of mind https://wp.me/p8ReVr-rs
16:34 Scott Alexander https://slatestarcodex.com/2015/10/07/contra-caplan-on-mental-illness/
17:53 Drapetomania https://g.co/kgs/5qVtCe
18:06 What was it like to meet Szasz? https://www.econlib.org/archives/2012/09/thomas_szasz_a.html
19:29 Suicide https://amzn.to/3RuQS5w
20:05 Why do you think Szasz wrote so much?
21:00 Did you get pushback when writing your paper on Szasz?
22:19 Shakespeare and Szasz
23:24 Has Szasz helped you in your personal life?
27:12 Brittany Spears
28:27 Addiction is a Choice https://wp.me/p8ReVr-9U
29:05 Karl Kraus https://wp.me/p8ReVr-1hz
29:51 Szasz’s political beliefs
32:29 Epicurus https://epicurus.net/en/menoeceus.html
32:54 Julian Simon https://amzn.to/3P4Kct3
35:17 Surround yourself with friends
36:11 How do you stay productive?
37:51 Lucretius http://classics.mit.edu/Carus/nature_things.html
39:01 How do you deal with depression during Covid?
41:16 Faith in Freedom https://amzn.to/3caLvIq
41:38 Free will https://econfaculty.gmu.edu/bcaplan/freewill
43:38 Writing advice
44:45 The Baader Meinhof Complex https://youtu.be/2UPrDdb0r70
46:43 Economics of Szasz http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/bcaplan/pdfs/szasz.pdf
49:50 Rational vs. Irrational
52:53 Schizophrenia https://amzn.to/3AK5yb3
56:10 Biographies of schizophrenics https://amzn.to/3IBtJu0
59:15 Hearing voices https://youtu.be/sE3gxX5CiW0