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Genius vs. Madness

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By chantygirl1974
Words 870
Pages 4
Miriam Holloway

Professor Culledge

Communications Skills 1

April 22, 2010

Correct Me If I’m Wrong, But Hasn’t the Fine Line Between Genius and Madness Gotten Finer?

Comparison and Contrast Essay

Have you ever heard that “the biggest fool is an educated fool?” What is the relationship (if any) between brilliance and insanity? As noted by psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison, artists (geniuses) are 18 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population. They are 8 to 10 times more likely to be depressed and 10 to 20 times as likely to have bipolar disease. (Nevid and Rathus 278). Are these statistics merely coincidence or is it true genius and madness is related and that every genius is really a madman in heart but especially in the mind? A genius is defined as someone who has exceptional intellectual and/or creative ability and originality; brilliance; unusual mental ability. Genius is not just reference of how smart someone ranks with their IQ but rather it is a blend of the IQ and the enormous ability to innovate and think outside the box. On the other hand, madness is defined as the condition of being mad; insanity; lunacy; mania. To be insane is to be unsound in the mind. Who thinks outside of the box more than someone who is unsound in the mind? While it is debatable as to whether genius can exist without madness or vice versa, it is factual that they share similarities. The two phenomena experience social discomfort. When someone’s unusually smart it is difficult for most people to relate to them and vice versa. Due to the intellectual differences, it is uncomfortable for both the genius and the normal person. It is the same when a person is socially different because of their sanity due to perhaps a mental illness; it is quite often uncomfortable for people to relate to them and vice versa. Genius and madness are similar in that…...

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