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Genius in FranceAn Idea and Its Uses$
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Ann Jefferson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691160658

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691160658.001.0001

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Genius Restored to Health

Genius Restored to Health

(p.114) Chapter 9 Genius Restored to Health
Genius in France

Ann Jefferson

Princeton University Press

This chapter presents arguments for a model of genius defined as the optimal expression of the human mind. This view dominated discussion in the last twenty years of the century, when the medical profession mounted a challenge to its previous pathologizing of genius, and devoted its energies and insights to bringing it back within the bounds of normal mental functioning. The theme was taken up by the philosopher Gabriel Séailles in his Essai sur le génie dans l' art (An essay on genius in art, 1883), where he argues for a view of genius as a manifestation of the healthy human mind. The chapter studies other echoes of this theme in such individuals as Édouard Toulouse and Maurice de Fleury, among others.

Keywords:   genius, normal functioning, mental functioning, Gabriel Séailles, Édouard Toulouse, Maurice de Fleury, mental medicine, healthy mind

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