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The Descent of Madness

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The Descent of Madness

Evolutionary Origins of Psychosis and the Social Brain

Format

Paperback / softback

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The Descent of Madness by Jonathan Burns
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Description

Drawing on evidence from across the behavioural and natural sciences, this book advances a radical new hypothesis: that madness exists as a costly consequence of the evolution of a sophisticated social brain in Homo sapiens. Having explained the rationale for an evolutionary approach to psychosis, the author makes a case for psychotic illness in our living ape relatives, as well as in human ancestors. He then reviews existing evolutionary theories of psychosis, before introducing his own thesis: that the same genes causing madness are responsible for the evolution of our highly social brain. Jonathan Burns' novel Darwinian analysis of the importance of psychosis for human survival provides some meaning for this form of suffering. It also spurs us to a renewed commitment to changing our societies in a way that allows the mentally ill the opportunity of living. The Descent of Madness will be of interest to those in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, sociology and anthropology, and is also accessible to the general reader.

Author Biography

Jonathan Burns is chief specialist psychiatrist at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine. His main areas of research include psychotic illnesses, human brain evolution and evolutionary origins of psychosis.
Release date NZ
January 1st, 2007
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Illustrations
10 Line drawings, black and white; 3 Tables, black and white; 2 Illustrations, black and white
Imprint
Brunner-Routledge
Pages
288
Dimensions
156x234x21
ISBN-13
9781583917435
Product ID
1642794

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