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Moral insanity and psychological disorder: the hybrid roots of psychiatry

Jones, David W. (2017). Moral insanity and psychological disorder: the hybrid roots of psychiatry. History of Psychiatry (Early Access).

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1177/0957154X17702316
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Abstract

This paper traces the significance of the diagnosis of ‘moral insanity’ (and the related diagnoses of ‘monomania’ and ‘manie sans délire’) to the development of psychiatry as a profession in the nineteenth century. The pioneers of psychiatric thought were motivated to explore such diagnoses because they promised public recognition in the high status surroundings of the criminal court. Some success was achieved in presenting a form of expertise that centred on the ability of the experts to detect quite subtle, ‘psychological’ forms of dangerous madness within the minds of offenders in France and more extensively in England. Significant backlash in the press against these new ideas pushed the profession away from such psychological exploration and back towards its medical roots that located criminal insanity simply within the organic constitution of its sufferers.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 The Authors
ISSN: 0957-154X
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Cross Disciplinary Thinking on Antisocial Personality DisorderES/L000911/1ESRC
Keywords: England; France; history; insanity; legal defence; M’Naghten; monomania; moral insanity; Psychopathy; antisocial personality disorder
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG)
Item ID: 49266
Depositing User: David W. Jones
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2017 14:04
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2017 09:19
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/49266
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