Mental Deficiency, Breakdown, and Insanity

Kathleen V. Wilkes

in Real People

Published in print November 1993 | ISBN: 9780198240808
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680281 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Mental Deficiency, Breakdown, and Insanity

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This chapter examines the condition of the insane adult. It explores the scope of the condition that persons are rational beings. It looks at the sort of moral and practical stance appropriate to take to them. It looks at the various forms of breakdown of rationality in an attempt to discover the kind of rationality that one might require from any non-human candidate for personhood. The problem of defining what it is in which human rationality consists arises. There are also implications for the plausible view that the notion of personhood is, to some extent, anthropologically, socially, and culturally determined.

Keywords: mental deficiency; breakdown; insanity; insane adult; rationality; speciesism; mental illness

Chapter.  10850 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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