Law and Psychiatry: Rethinking the Relationship

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


This book is about the competing images of man offered us by the disciplines of law and psychiatry. Michael Moore describes the legal view of persons as rational and autonomous and defends it from the challenges presented by three psychiatric ideas: that badness is illness, that the unconscious rules our mental life, and that a person is a community of selves more than a unified single self. Using the tools of modern philosophy, he attempts to show that the moral metaphysical foundations of our law are not eroded by these challenges of psychiatry. The book thus seeks, through philosophy, to go beneath the centuries-old debates between lawyers and psychiatrists, and to reveal their hidden agreement about the nature of man. Some attention is paid to practical legal and psychiatric issues of contemporary concern, such as the proper definition of mental illness for psychiatric purposes, and the proper definition of legal insanity for legal purposes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages527
ISBN (Print)9780521319782, 9780521255981
StatePublished - Mar 1984


  • Forensic psychiatry
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Philosophy, Medical
  • Insanity (Law)


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