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PSYC 3850

Mental Disabilities in Western Civilization From Ancient Rome to the Prerogativa Regis y Intellectual disabilitiesmental defect mental deficiency mental retardation developmental disability mental handicap and mental subnormality y NeugebauerStainton described the distinction between mental retardation and mental thillness in the Prerogativa Regis document from 13 century Between classical ancient thGreece and the 13 century in England a concept of intellectual disability separated from a generic impression of mental illness Words and Sources y Mental illness and cognitive deficits were confused in the earlier periodprobably due to a lack of clear conceptual distinction but may also be due to confusion of concepts by the earlier translators Religious Sources in the Roman Empire The Mishnah y A document bringing together interpreting and making more explicit Jewish law It focused on a various forms of religious observance b the ability to value the economic worth of another person and c the degree of responsibility for certain acts in everyday life y If an imbecile were being sold as a slave they may be told their worth but they were not allowed to evaluate another since they have no understanding They cannot slaughter with no one watching in case they impair itit will not be kosher One that wounds an imbecile is culpable ndy Shows several disabilities hearing visual etc were differentiated in late 2 centuryy The distinction between mental illness and intellectual disability doesnt occur until the Toseftathe first commentary on the Mishnah Although the Mishnah was protective of those with disabilities this sometimes excluded them to participate as members of society St Augustine of Hippo y Two ideas in the Christian Scriptures disability as a natural phenomenon and the possibility of cure and later on miraculous curesy St Augustine believed individual differences are inborn and all people have a common essential human nature God is the centrality in causing human differences The view by others was that souls that sinned in a previous existence are born with faculties akin to brute animalswho areso silly as to make a show of their fatuity for the amusement of clever people even with idiotic gestures But he argued against sin producing mental disabilities and in favor of the idea that God brings behavioral differences into being and that is what makes humans so wonderful Cures may be affected by prayer Medical Concepts in Imperial Rome y Unsoundness was used by earlier philosophers for the health of souls that werent calm because they thought that for a disordered soul the soundness of health was impossible
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