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THE PSYCHOPOLITICS OF LEARNING AND DISABILITY IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY THOUGHT

C.F. Goodey

Take my advice, when you meet anything that’s going to be human and isn’t yet, or used to be human once and isn’t now, or ought to be human and isn’t, you keep your eyes on it and feel for your hatchet.

C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

I

The history of idiocy has scarcely been written. While social constructions of madness are common currency among most contemporary historians of psychiatry, I suspect the same historians believe that everyone just knows what an idiot or mentally handicapped person is, and that it is some unfortunate creature with a deficit in something called intelligence and a trans-historical reality. The little history ...

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