Valentina Cardella

Who is Insane? The Threshold of Madness

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This paper focuses on the threshold between normality and pathology. This task is more difficult than one could expect, because the more we investigate the different forms of mental disorder, the harder seems to draw this line between madness and normality. By focusing on one typical symptom of mental disease, i.e. delusion, I will claim that these difficulties come from the deep evaluative character of psychiatry. In psychiatry, normal and pathological are intertwined. Only a subjective, evaluative stance can detect the narrow threshold between them. Things like delusions, schizophrenia, depression, are not natural kinds: they are not independent of the look of the observer, and they all need an evaluative stance. In the last part of the paper, I will apply my thesis to a specific kind of delusion, that is, erotomania, or the delusion of love


  • Philosophy of Psychiatry
  • Evaluative Stance
  • Delusion
  • Erotomania


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