Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Problems at the Roots of LawEssays in Legal and Political Theory$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Joel Feinberg

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195155266

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195155262.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 September 2019



The Blending of Moral and Psychiatric Judgments

(p.193) 7 Fusion
Problems at the Roots of Law

Joel Feinberg

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the complexities arising from the fusion of moral and psychiatric norms. Although mental sickness is a traditional ground in both law and morality for the mitigation of culpability, it is seldom regarded now as a serious criminal defense. The present trend is to use the idea of sickness to condemn the behavior and aggravate culpability. Concerning the relation between sickness and wickedness, over time, these concepts have blurred together; both are complex and each contains elements of the other. By taking an historical approach, we see that concepts of mental illness and immorality first intermingled in the dialogues of Plato, who held that to have a morally bad character is to be out‐of‐kilter, a state that is difficult to distinguish from mental illness.

Keywords:   culpability, morality, norms, Plato, psychiatry, sickness, wickedness

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .