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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jonathan Andrews
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The second part of this paper1 explores deepening doubts about pyromania as a special insanity, British debates post-1890, and pyromania's supplanting with the broader diagnostic category of insane incendiarism. It assesses the conceptual importance of revenge and morbid-motivations for arson, and the relationship of Victorian and Edwardian concepts of arson to more modern psychiatric research. The main objective is to ascertain the extent to which Victorian and Edwardian medico-psychologists and medical legists arrived at meaningful and workable definitions of criminal insanity linked to arson. It concludes by emphasizing the limitations, contentiousness and inconsistencies in the use of technical terms such as 'pyromania', contrasted with the qualified success of authorities in arriving at more viable and broadly acceptable explanations of insane firesetting.
Author(s): Andrews J
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: History of Psychiatry
Print publication date: 07/12/2010
ISSN (print): 0957-154X
ISSN (electronic): 1740-2360
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
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