A Brilliant Madness about John Forbes Nash

1443 Words6 Pages
“To some extent insanity is a form of conformity; people are always selling the idea that people who have mental illness are suffering. But it’s really not so simple…I think mental illness or madness can be an escape also” (qtd. in “John Forbes Nash”). To many “normal” people, the terms “insanity” or “madness” portray a negative connotation-- the unfortunate ones “suffer” from mental illness. However, brilliant mathematician and Nobel laureate John Forbes Nash, who has paranoid schizophrenia, cherishes his unique condition as a means of retreat from the brutalities of reality (“John Forbes Nash”). Since ancient times, people have observed the link between madness and creative genius. Indeed, research has proven that the two conditions of psychology display similar characteristics, both behaviourally and genetically. Unfortunately, this subject remains quite ambiguous, and science may never fully grasp the concept (Griffith 626; Ludwig 5; Simonton; Neihart). Although it lacks in hard facts, many compelling theories arise from this field of study: a little madness may bolster creative genius, but too much madness can overpower the creativity and kill the genius. The right amount of insanity can produce positive results. To comprehend the relationship between genius and madness, one must first establish the definitions and understand the history of the two mental dispositions. In very general terms, a genius represents one who has achieved exceptional eminence through creative thought and who possesses the ability to see and think outside the scope of standard logic in a productive form (Simonton; Griffith 627; Neihart). A genius typically has a high IQ score and bears certain characteristics, such as impulsiveness, self-confidence... ... middle of paper ... ... Feb. 2012. Web. 23 Dec. 2013. . Ludwig, Arnold M. "Reflections on Creativity and Madness." American Journal Of Psychotherapy 43.1 (1989): 4. Academic Search Premier. Web. 23 Dec. 2013. Neihart, Maureen. "Creativity, The Arts, And Madness." Roeper Review 21.1 (1998): 47. Academic Search Premier. Web. 23 Dec. 2013. Robinson, Andrew. "Does Madness Enhance or Diminish Genius?" Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, LLC, 31 Mar. 2011. Web. 5 Jan. 2014. . Simonton, Dean Keith. "The Science Of Genius." Scientific American Mind 23.5 (2012): 34. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 23 Dec. 2013. Weisberg, Robert W. "GENIUS AND MADNESS? A Quasi-Experimental Test of the Hypothesis That Manic-Depression Increases Creativity."Psychological Science (Wiley- Blackwell) 5.6 (1994): 361-367. Academic Search Premier. Web. 23 Dec. 2013.

More about A Brilliant Madness about John Forbes Nash

Open Document