Crime Or Disease? - Antony FlewLondon: Macmillan, 1973, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. Unlaminated dust wrapper a little edgeworn and faded with heavier tanning to the spine. Edges of the textblock heavily tanned. Previous owners' gift inscription to the first blank. The pages are somewhat tanned, if tight, and a little musty.
From the cover: “Professor Flew here attacks the present gross over-extensions of the notion of mental disease on both sides of the Atlantic. He defends human dignity and responsibility against the suggestion that we are all, or most of us, ‘sick, sick, sick’. In particular, he challenges the paternalist pretensions of those who claim a right to push and manipulate people because these people are allegedly sick, and so irresponsible.
A key idea of this book is that, in a typical ordinary disease, it is the patient who complains of the disease rather than someone else who complains about the patient. Taking this as a paradigm, it is preposterous, Flew contends, to say that most homosexuals, for instance, are mentally ill. If an analogy with physical disease is to be the basis for urging that mental disease be similarly excused, this basic supposed analogy must not be forgotten when attempts are made to elucidate the concept of mental disease.
This may seem obvious, but the author is able to cite plentiful evidence to show that many who should know better get into great, and even dangerous, muddles over the nature of mental disease — and this through their failure to consider how what they propose to call mental disease does, and does not, resemble syphilis, measles, etc.
Flew seeks in this study to complement the work of Dr Thomas Szasz, looking as a philosopher at problems which Szasz discusses as a psychiatrist. Part I (Survey of the Logical Geography ) is of particular interest to students of philosophy and politics in that it relates modern discussion of the problem to the Plato of The Republic. It also takes note in this context of Samuel Butler’s Erewhon. The book will also be of direct relevance to students of Social Science (including penology), Social Administration, Philosophy of Education and Psychiatry.”