On a Breakdown in Science: The Paranoid’s World and the Baroque



The starting point of my paper is the question of how the events (or the form of life) of the 17th century (the dawn of modern sciences) can be related to Daniel Paul Schreber’s experience of life. My approach will be the following: The baroque is to 17th century science, what delusion is to the psychophysics of the early 20th century. I thus want to argue for a certain relationship of equivalence between the emerging modern sciences of the 17th century and psychopsysics of the 20th century on the one hand and baroque and delusion (paranoia) on the other.

My remarks will be twofold. Firstly, I will explain why I take it to be relevant and useful to read the structure of science as latently psychotic. Secondly, I want to relate paranoia and baroque as two different forms of delusion, which manifest, or give body to, a truth that has been foreclosed in science.

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European Journal of Psychoanalysis