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p. 11. Madness unboundlocked

  • Andrew Scull

Abstract

‘Madness unbound ’ explores social responses to madness. Our interpretations of it, and our notions of what is to be done about it, have varied remarkably over the centuries. Our early ancestors sought for supernatural explanations; Greek thinkers emphasized its roots in disorders of the body, such as an imbalance of the humours. These distinctions and debates would begin to resurface centuries later in medieval and early modern Europe. As the medieval world drew to a close, European societies continued to grapple with madness in a variety of overlapping, often contradictory ways. That heterogeneity would persist into the modern age. The boundary between sanity and madness remains permeable and contested.

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