Insanity: The Idea and Its Consequences
by Thomas Szasz
The idea of insanity pervades every aspect of our daily lives. Thomas Szasz contends that the term actually functions as a euphemism for problems ... Show synopsis The idea of insanity pervades every aspect of our daily lives. Thomas Szasz contends that the term actually functions as a euphemism for problems about living, i.e., as an excuse for crime and misbehavior, as a stigma for invalidating adversaries. In actuality, Szasz claims, insanity functions in our society as a metaphor, a legal fiction. In Insanity, Dr. Szasz presents a systematic articulation of the precise character and practical consequences of the idea of mental illness. He shows the way to a better understanding of this almost universally misunderstood condition by first establishing the scientific criteria and linguistic conventions we use for deciding what constitutes bodily disease, and then demonstrating the metaphorical character of the "diseases" that affect the mind rather than the brain. This book was originally published in 1987 by John Wiley.