Insanity by consensus


…the original riddle remains: is the world mad, or is civilization psychopathogenic? – the question, of course, posed by Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents (1926). And if a civilized society is thus disordered, what right has it to pass judgement on the ‘insane’? Regarding his committal to Bethlem, the Restoration playwrite Nathaniel Lee reputedly declared: “They called me mad, and I called them mad, and damn them, they outvoted me.” The issue is still alive.

From Madness: A Brief History (p88) by the late great historian of medicine, Roy Porter.

Link to review of Madness: A Brief History (ISBN 0192802666).
Link to Roy Porter’s obituary (2002).

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