More Foucault

I stumbled upon another person’s blog who was writing about their thoughts while reading Madness and Civilization.
They gave a quote which said that insanity is defined socially, or something to that effect.
The comments were of interest, since one person wrote: “A contemporary definition of madness would simply entail any behaviour that deviates from modern socio-cultural ‘norms’. How else does one define madness?”
And, being the person that I am *cough* needs to give his opinion to everyone *cough* decided to reply with the following:
“I think historically it has been done that way, but – I would hope – we no longer do so. For instance, other cultures have norms that are different from ours, and we don’t see them all as signs of lunacy.
Indeed, I would hope that we would define madness with relation to how the person affected with it feels (positive or negative) and whether or not it makes the person a ‘danger to society’, by which I mean a person who would do harm to innocent people.
Thus, someone with auditory hallucinations – for example voices that speak positively to the person – who does not lash out and cause other people harm, would not be a mentally ill. It would be quirky, indeed, since most people do not experience these, but not insane. (note: there are such people in the world, who do not seek treatment, and are happy with their lives, and the voices they hear. Indeed, there are support groups for people who hear voices and want to meet other people like themselves).
Would this make it so that all people who have harmed another person/people without cause is insane? Perhaps. Or that a third world child who is very melancholic due to his destitute position in life is insane? Perhaps.”

I think the perhaps comes off as silly…oh well.


About dontdontoperate

28 year old originally from Barrie, Ontario, Canada. H.B.Sc. from UofT with a major in chemistry and a double minor in philosophy and math. M.Sc. from UofT in physiology and neuroscience. Finished my Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at McMaster in the fall of 2013.
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