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April 25, 1908

The Semi-Insane and the Semi-Responsible.

JAMA. 1908;L(17):1365-1366. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02530430049018

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Abstract

It has always been a matter of more than ordinary interest to attempt to place certain individuals in society who, while not suffering from any definite psychosis, are still sufficiently different from the ordinary run of mankind to attract more than passing attention. Horace evidently knew of such individuals, for in his delightful satires he speaks of the eccentricities of certain of his acquaintances and used, in those early days, the same words that we use to-day—foolish, crazy and cracked—as proper terms to denote their variations from the common herd that trod the Appian Way.

Modern German psychiatry, under the headings of psychopathic inferiority, psychopathic characters, etc., has attempted a classification, but Grasset here proposes, at one bound, to establish a third estate, as it were, the demi-fous, the semi-insane, including those individuals of more or less marked eccentricity, who are not mentally ill, or only so at infrequent intervals,

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