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Bioethics Seminar: Anti-Psychiatry and the Insanity defence


Throughout his writings, anti-psychiatrist Thomas Szasz opposed the insanity defence. One reason for his objection to the defence is, broadly, that he didn’t think anyone was insane: he rejected the idea of psychopathology. He also had moral objections to the defence.

But the argument I’m most interested in, and which will be my focus, is that the sciences of psychology can contribute nothing to the question whether any person should be acquitted of a crime by reason of psychopathology. Since, in the case of the insanity defence, psychiatrists presumably appear in court as scientists of the mind, Szasz’s objection, if cogent, would undermine their role, as well as the defence itself. I try to set out the logic of Szasz’s argument, and begin to consider its cogency.  Speaker: Neil Pickering

Date Monday, 22 May 2017
Time 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Audience All University,Public
Event Category Health Sciences
Event Type Open Seminar
CampusDunedin
DepartmentBioethics Centre
LocationBioethics Seminar Room, Level one, 71 Frederick Street (entry on Frederick Street), Dunedin. Also video-linked UOW and UOC campus.
Costfree
Contact NameBioethics Centre
Contact Phone64 3 471 6120
Contact Emailbioethics@otago.ac.nz
Websitehttp://www.otago.ac.nz/bioethics/index.html

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