Madness and Morals
Ideas on Insanity in the Nineteenth Century
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First published in 1975, Madness and Morals presents the major preoccupations of nineteenth century society concerning insanity, its problems, and implications. In the introduction to the collection, Vieda Skultans traces developments and changes in the ideas about the insane and their treatment during the nineteenth century. She shows that two contrasting themes dominated writing on the subject: the relative weight to be attributed to physical and moral causes of insanity; and the emphasis on hereditary endowment or the ‘tyranny of organization’. The eighty years covered by this book produced a wide and varied literature on insanity, and the psychiatric texts reproduced, by English writers in the field are grouped under three sections: Outlines of Insanity; Psychiatric Romanticism; and Psychiatric Darwinism. These are written by physicians, administrators of the asylums and hospitals, editors of specialist publications, and others with wide experience in the field. These writings have a special relevance to the social history of the nineteenth century, for they demonstrate how psychiatric thinking reflects the contemporary moral outlook, forming a part of the total social fabric of society. This book will be useful for scholars and researchers of mental health, psychology, and psychiatry.
Table of Contents
Biographical Notes Introduction Part I: Outlines of Insanity 1. Causes and Prevalence 2. Signs and Symptoms 3. Treatment Part II: Psychiatric Romanticism 4. Moral Management 5. Moral Force and Responsibility 6. Moral Insanity Part III: Psychiatric Darwinism 7. Heredity and Character 8. Feminine Vulnerability 9. Idiocy, Criminal Lunacy and Pauper Lunacy Index