Are Bigots Sick?

Mike W. Martin

in From Morality to Mental Health

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780195304718
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786572 | DOI:

Series: Practical and Professional Ethics

 Are Bigots Sick?

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This chapter presents an integrated, moral-therapeutic perspective on bigotry. A case is made for viewing visceral bigotry as both a sickness and a wrongdoing. It is argued that (visceral) bigotry can be understood as pathological without altering our conviction that it is immoral. Doing so allows us to appreciate how overcoming bigotry can be both a moral and a therapeutic process. At the same time, pathologizing prejudice (as with crime) carries risks in the current social climate where sickness is often assumed to be an automatic excuse. We need to ensure that justice remains a key component in an integrated, moral-therapeutic perspective.

Keywords: prejudice; psychopathology; morality; therapy; visceral bigotry

Chapter.  4384 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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