Hobbesian principles in Szasz's writings.

N. Laor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Szasz follows the individualistic principles rigorously on the basis of which he claims the mentally ill should be viewed as responsible agents in society. This claim is not new. It was introduced by Hobbes. Yet, while Hobbes asks the mentally ill to pay the price for the existing social order, Szasz demands they stop doing so. Nonetheless, if Szasz's views were endorsed and socially implemented, the mentally ill would still be asked to pay the price for the social changes Szasz recommends. On the background of classical individualism, the regression from liberal individualism to paternalistic neglect is totally unacceptable yet it is inevitable: since the early days of the Enlightenment, the philosophical framework for the debate concerning the autonomy of the mentally ill is paradoxical and should therefore be replaced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalClio medica (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1984


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