"There is something very interesting about the relationship between philosophy and madness. Philosophy is the study of reason, while madness is often thought to be the anti-thesis of reason. So how does a philosopher — a person preoccupied with reason — come to be in a mental state that lacks it?
In philosophy, philosophical problems are often taken to their logical extremes. In madness, real-life issues are taken to their logical consequences and acted upon. So, is madness simply an extension of philosophical reasoning? And if so, could it be that philosophy and madness are somehow inextricably linked?
No link has been established between madness & philosophising. Naturally there have been mad philosophers. Nietzsche stands as one of the more notorious; he was known for writing mad letters to his friends.
But the existence of mad philosophers does not mean madness is a natural extension of the thinking about fundamental questions. On being seized by madness, one loses touch with reality. It is possible to do the most absurd of things, like standing upside down in front of a doorway, and yet believe there is logic to it, like knowing that it is in conformity with a Code.
My personal madness is the result of actions which in retrospect seem very stupid. Like Descartes, I attempted to ‘doubt as much as I could’. Unlike Descartes, I treated the exercise as a practical and not just a theoretical one.”
A Philosopher’s Madness, Lishan Chan