Publication details [#9639]

Publication type
Article in book  
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Cambridge , UK: Cambridge University Press


In this essay, I shall sketch a historical account of the metaphors that have guided the search for the understanding and control of unwanted conduct. For the past century, such conduct has been the concern of the subdiscipline of medicine called psychopathology. Later in the essay, I shall point to some of the historical contexts leading to the coinage of that term. A complete history would consider the metaphors employed in earlier times when devils and demons, good and evil spirits, and other occult entities provided the ground for theory building as well as the rationale for managing deviant persons. My selective historical account begins with the introduction of a novel metaphor that displaced demonological concepts and paved the way for the classification of unwanted conduct as forms of illness. (Theodore Sarbin)