Jeremy Dubhrós

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Society is governed by a set of social norms and schemas. Deviance, or transgressing these values, usually results in a loss of social status or even possible stigma. However, there are situations where the transgression does not negatively impact social status and may at times actually increase prestige and social power. Plato describes several such examples where the individual had abandoned rationality and should be considered insane, but where that madness was ultimately beneficial. He separated these forms of madness from ‘common’ madness caused by disease and argued that they were divinely inspired. Though often viewed in a classic context, careful examination reveals that Plato was describing traits that were not bound to Greek culture, and in fact occur across many cultures and time periods.

Publication Date






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