James Barnes and Wouter Kusters

Wouter Kusters is a Dutch philosopher and linguist from the Netherlands. He is best known for his books, ‘Pure Madness, A Quest for the Psychotic Experience’ and ‘A Philosophy of Madness: The Experience of Psychotic Thinking.’ The latter was translated into English in 2020 and published by MIT press and forms the basis of this interview. Wouter underwent two experiences of what is commonly called ‘psychosis’, which he explores and explains through the lenses of philosophy, spirituality and mysticism. It is a long and sometimes challenging read, and more detailed than the usual MIA content. However, we wanted to give readers a flavour of this important book, which shows how both philosophy and madness can be understood as different ways of searching for the answers to, in Wouter Kusters’ words, “the most fundamental questions of existence.”

— Interview by James Barnes can be read here.

Picture: “Altered states” by J. Culver (source).