Insanity

   Insanity and Civilization
   That insanity is a form of freedom became the basic assumption of Foucault's most widely read work, Madness and Civilization (1961). The dichotomy is significant; in the precapitalist West of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Foucault claimed, insanity was understood to be part of the human condition, even an ironic comment on man's pretensions to autonomy and power. Then the classical age defined madness as the enemy of reason and hence the enemy of humanity, requiring rigid and brutal segregation of the insane and other "deviants" in asylums and hospitals. That process of "confinement," the categorizing, segregation, and exclusion of what seems foreign and hence threatening to the rationalizing self, defined for Foucault the Enlightenment mind and all of modern civilization. All of modern society is, for Foucault, a prison with modern man its inmate. (Herman, 1997, p. 353)

Historical dictionary of quotations in cognitive science. . 2015.

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  • Insanity — • The dividing line between sanity and insanity, like the line that distinguishes a man of average height from a tall man, can be described only in terms of a moral estimate Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Insanity     Insanity …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • insanity — in·san·i·ty n 1: unsoundness of mind or lack of the ability to understand that prevents one from having the mental capacity required by law to enter into a particular relationship, status, or transaction or that releases one from criminal or… …   Law dictionary

  • Insanity — In*san i*ty, n. [L. insanitas unsoundness; cf. insania insanity, F. insanite.] 1. The state of being insane; unsoundness or derangement of mind; madness; lunacy. [1913 Webster] All power of fancy over reason is a degree of insanity. Johnson.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • insanity — insanity, lunacy, psychosis, mania, dementia are the leading general terms denoting serious mental disorder. Insanity as a technical term belongs to law rather than to medicine. It is used to cover a wide variety of mental disorders, all of which …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • insanity — [in san′ə tē] n. pl. insanities [L insanitas < insanus] 1. the state of being insane; mental illness or derangement, usually excluding amentia: not a technical term 2. Law any form or degree of mental derangement or unsoundness of mind,… …   English World dictionary

  • insanity — 1580s, state of being insane, from L. insanitatem (nom. insanitas) unhealthfulness, noun of quality from insanus (see INSANE (Cf. insane)). Meaning extreme folly is from 1844 …   Etymology dictionary

  • insanity — [n] mental illness; foolishness aberration, absurdity, alienation, craziness, delirium, delusion, dementia, derangement, distraction, dotage, folly, frenzy, hallucination, hysteria, illusion, inanity, irrationality, irresponsibility, lunacy,… …   New thesaurus

  • Insanity — For other uses, see Insanity (disambiguation). Insane redirects here. For other uses, see Insane (disambiguation). Engraving of the eighth p …   Wikipedia

  • insanity — The term is a social and legal term rather than a medical one, and indicates a condition which renders the affected person unfit to enjoy liberty of action because of the unreliability of his behavior with concomitant danger to himself and others …   Black's law dictionary

  • insanity — /in san i tee/, n., pl. insanities. 1. the condition of being insane; a derangement of the mind. 2. Law. such unsoundness of mind as affects legal responsibility or capacity. 3. Psychiatry. (formerly) psychosis. 4. extreme folly; senselessness;… …   Universalium

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