Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.

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February 18, 2011

Take a summer Distant Education (DE) course with Jeff Schaler during 2011. Last summer, students enrolled from all over the United States to Sydney, Australia!

Once again I'll be teaching two courses this coming summer over the Internet using BlackBoard, both offered by American University in Washington, D.C: "Drugs, Alcohol and Society" (JLS-303-E01L) and "Law, Psychology and Justice" (JLS-333-E01L). In the first course students will learn about the myth of addiction as a disease, and how mindset, values, and people avoid coping with their environments are more accurate ways of explaining "addiction" than the conventional "wisdom." The conventional wisdom stipulates that the chemical properties of drugs, a mythical genetic predisposition towards addiction, and tolerance and withdrawal, are the most accurate ways of explaining addiction.

In this course, the focus is on how drugs get inside a person's body, not what drugs do to a person's body. The former has long been at the center of controversy. The latter is relatively uncontroversial. The focus in both courses offered is on how to think, not what to think.

In "Law, Psychology and Justice" students learn about the "myth of mental illness," how it serves as a form of legal fiction in court, and how involuntary commitment to a mental hospital and the insanity defense are two sides of the same coin. Both rest on the myth of mental illness, and both are used by powerful others to implement social control over society's unwanted. Involuntary commitment is how institutional psychiatry is used as an extension of law to deprive innocent persons of due process, the right to a fair and speedy trial, and liberty. The insanity defense is used to deprive guilty persons and their victims of justice.

In addition to learning all about the invaluable contributions professor of psychiatry emeritus Thomas Szasz has made to medicine, science, law and philosophy over the past sixty years, you will learn Dr. Schaler's "three-step model" for deconstructing addiction and mental illness and the various policies that are implemented on the basis of these ideas. The "three-step model" is a tool Dr. Schaler developed with his students over the years. It is used to comprehend the description and definition of addiction and mental illness; four explanatory categories used to explain addiction and mental illness; and how these definitions, descriptions, and explanations have unique consequences for legal, clinical, social, and public policy arenas.

Jeff Schaler produced and maintains www.szasz.com as a public service for students, the lay public, lawyers and judges, and "mental health professionals" alike, the world over. Dr. Schaler has taught more courses on the implications of Dr. Szasz's work over the past twenty years than anyone else in the world. Thousands of students have studied with him from several different universities, colleges, and scholarship seminar programs. If you want to learn Szasz, study with Schaler.

For more information about registering for summer sessions, go to http://www.american.edu/provost/registrar/summer/index.cfm .

FYI: Schaler will be teaching the following face-2-face courses at American University this fall 2011: JUSTICE, MORALITY & THE LAW (JLS-308-001; W 11:45AM-02:25PM), DRUGS, ALCOHOL AND SOCIETY (JLS-303-001; MTH 11:45AM-01:00PM) and DRUGS, CRIME & PUBLIC POLICY (graduate course, JLS-550-001, TH 2:35PM -5:15PM). Register early. Classes fill quickly.

FYI: Schaler's latest edited volume in the Under Fire series, entitled Peter Singer Under Fire: The Moral Iconoclast Faces His Critics (Open Court, 2009), just received the "outstanding academic title award in the philosophy category for 2010" given by Choice Magazine. "CHOICE is a publishing unit of the Association of College & Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association."