James L. Nolan Quote

“Another defining feature of therapeutic ethos, then, is the growing tendency to define a range of human behaviors as diseases or pathologies.”

~ James L. Nolan

The Therapeutic State: Justifying Government at Century's End (New York: New York University Press, 1998), p. 9

Ratings and Comments

Robert, Sarasota

Imagination may be in need of medical attention...

Joe, Rochester, MI

...or syndrome.

E Archer, NYC

Right, like 'boredom' is now 'Attention Deficit Disorder.' Of course, the main beneficiaries of such policies are the pharmaceutical companies -- more soma, please.

  • Reply
Anonymous    5/18/09

But some behaviors really are disorders.

Mike, Norwalk

Today's liberalism is then the poster child for the therapeutic ethos (anything other than a most heinous statist theocracy's tyranny is a disease), while the republican party is defining another range; as for the rest, give them a little Prozac, everything should be just fine.

  • Reply
Anon    3/26/10

Therapeutic ethos? Is this the name of a new religion? (Sarcasm added).

J Carlton, Calgary

From the left...Gun owners are blood thirsty nut jobs and personal responsibility equates to uncaring selfishness. From the right...Liberals are parasitic sycophant dependent children. Whatever happened to the middle? Oh Yeah! Politicians happened to the middle...

jim k, Austin

A drunk is not a drunk because he chooses to drink and to drink too much, he has a Disease. New diseases are invented weekly and have to be treated by some drug or at least 10 years of "counseling". Whatever problem you have, there's a drug for it and be sure and " Ask Your Doctor".

jim k, Austin

To add to E Archers comment. Boys are much more apt to be given the A.D.D. tag because our public schools are designed mostly for girls and they will bore a young boy half to death, especially if he happens to be smart. So when he fidgets in his chair and would rather be outside playing ball and running around , it's A.D.D. and out come the drugs.

  • Reply
    Anon    3/26/10

    J Carlton, your reply to your own question would be a good laugh if it wasn't so true. Well said, short and sweet.

    Elisabeth, Astoria, NY

    (Funny comments above!) Either those people who make up those names like new words very much or enjoy the benefits of their creation very much.

    Judith, New Mexico

    Wonder if "Belligerence" will be diagnosed as a mental disorder? Still no legal definition but it can land you in a federal prison under McCain and Liberman's plan. If there was a psychiatric diagnosis it could be a get out of jail free card, but then they will put all protesters on Haldol.


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