Divine Madness: exceedance and not-knowing in Emancipatory Perspectives on Madness: Psychological, Social, and Spiritual Dimensions (edited by Robin S. Brown)

London: Routledge (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In the Phaedrus, Plato speaks of various forms of madness having a divine origin, and bestowing virtue on mankind. A similar, though not equivalent elevation of madness over sanity is found in the Pauline epistles, where Christians are described as fools. Diogenes of Sinope and a number of other Cynics, as well as Christian ascetics, adopted a way of life that could reasonably be described as mad. This challenged received ideas about sanity, and in so doing, emphasized its social aspect. The prophet and the poet were seen in antiquity to disclosed truth, in enigmatic sayings and in odd turns of phrase that stretch everyday usage. This overstepping of reason (logos) links both inspired madness and simulated madness to the lexis of mysticism. They are, in other words, a stance, in relation to knowing, that is shared by philosophy. To use Heidegger’s idiom, the latter is nothing other than a rambling path through the forest, one which often leads nowhere. But sometimes comes to a clearing in which Being itself is made manifest as ek-stasis.

Author's Profile


Added to PP

230 (#51,518)

6 months
230 (#5,283)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?