Descartes, René
(1596-1650)
   A French rationalist philosopher who - according to the British physician and alienist Forbes Benignus Winslow (1810-1874) was plagued by the voice of an invisible person after a period of confinement. Reportedly, this voice urged Descartes "to pursue his search for truth". The source of Winslow's allegation is unknown, however, and although it has been repeated by eminent authors such as Edmund Parish (1861-1916), Cesare Lombroso (1836-1909), and Kurt Goldstein (1878-1965), experts on the life and work of Descartes question whether he actually experienced any * verbal auditory hallucinations.
   References
   Goldstein, K. (1908). Zur Theorie der Hallucina-tionen. Studien über normale und pathologische Wahrnehmung. Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten, 44, 1036-1106.
   Lombroso, C. (1903). L'homme de génie. Troisième édition. Traduite par Colonna d'Istria, Fr. et Calderini, M. Paris: Librairie C. Reinwald Schleicher Frères, éditeurs.
   Parish, E. (1897). Hallucinations and illusions. A study of the fallacies ofperception. London: Walter Scott.
   Winslow, F. (1840). The anatomy of suicide. London: H. Renshaw.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.

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