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Law and Psychiatry: Rethinking the Relationship (by Michael Moore)

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. This book was first announced, for publication in hard covers, in the Press's January to July seasonal list.