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Insanity - What it IS

26 February 2016

Insanity is the inability to correct one's thinking errors. That's it. You're finished reading now so can go back to organizing your colorful collection of stale boogers or whatever it is you like to do with your time. There's nothing else that needs to be said about the topic.

Not So Fast

You're still here?

[audible sigh]

Very well then: I'll expand on this explanation of insanity. First off, we're going to look at what is, at the time of this writing, the most popular definition being used for insanity at the time of this writing. Once we've demonstrated what a pile of LASER that definition is, we will go on to get a feel for the more clinical definition and then justify ignoring that pretentious and unhelpful sack of TAR.

Images use are for educational purposes so covered under the Fair Use Act.

Oh, Albert! You're Such a Cad

Currently, if you are living in this day and age, and if you haven't been living under a rock, you are under the impression that you know what the definition of insanity is. If you haven't been programmed with said definition, from countless people repeating it over and over and over again on YouTube, then you found it posted on social media. You may have even re-posted an image like the one shown here. einstein1a.jpg

It just so happens to be correct too… sort of.

This is certainly one of the superficial symptoms of insanity. So if you are defining insanity by what it looks like, then it will do nicely. However, this is not unlike defining an orange by it's color. It just doesn't get to the juicy underlying dynamics which describe it in more depth. It certainly doesn't get at the pulp, let alone the seeds.

Albert Einstein probably didn't even say it was “the definition of insanity” but, rather, something like “one definition of insanity” or “a definition of insanity.” I really don't know for sure, to be fair, because that would require me to do some research. Because doing research tends to cut into my funny cat-video viewing time, I avoid it as much as possible.

Clinical Definition

There isn't one: psychologists and psychiatrists don't use those sorts of words. Psychologists use very dry mechanical descriptions like “psychosis” or “neurosis.” These are classified under the general term “abnormal psychology” which, it turns out, applies to everyone's psychology to some extent. Find me someone who doesn't at least have some pretty interesting neuroses, and I'll show you someone who is a figment of your psychotic imaginings.

It turns out that, according to Psychology of Today1), insanity is a legal definition. The medical dictionary offered by Farlex describes it as a “medically obsolete” and “outmoded” term2). The mental contortionism attorneys use to justify the use of this term in a legal setting is worthy of an article of it's own so it wont be covered here.

Because medical science no longer even uses the term insanity, because it's not good enough for them evidently, we have no use for their non-existent definition. In order to use the term, we have to choose between a legal definition, which doesn't account for neuroses, or the correct one I've provided in this article. If one makes the case that this definition, the inability to correct one's thinking errors, is invalid, one must find a better definition, which I'm confident doesn't exist, or simply abandon the use of the word altogether.

Where Did The "Thinking Errors" Definition Come From?

einstein2a.jpgI've heard that Gnostic groups in ancient times described the “Archons” in this way. I don't know if that's true because figuring out whether or not that's true would require effort on my part but I realized it was an excellent definition of insanity because we all are guilty of thinking errors. The difference between the few of us who are somewhat sane, and the rest of our psychotic population, is the ability to correct thinking errors. Being sane doesn't mean that one doesn't commit logical fallacies, but that one can identify and rectify such fallacies.

What causes insanity is a bit more complicated of a topic but, with Vulgar Philosophy, and the assistance of a good therapist, it can be resolved to a great extent.

Philosophy|Psychology


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