The Logic of Madness?

What is the logic of madness?


Why does genius sometimes go mad?

Is it because genius has madness in it’s blood?

Not likely.

Neither blood or circumstance, has a hold of it. It appears looking carefully at its nature, one observes that there are particular forms of genius and particular forms of madness. Just as there kinds of genius, witness the difference in achievements of Nietzsche and achievements of Nijinsky, there are also different kinds of madness.  Nijinsky went mad.  Nietzsche his way,  Vincent Van Gogh went the way of Nijinsky – Hölderlin, the way of Nietzsche.


Because their Temperaments so dictate it. Madness takes on a form entirely consistent with sanity.  There’re ways of being insane that are derivatives that are corresponding ways of being sane.  Who lives sanely in a certain style must be mad and that style and no other. Nature allows no other course –all of us live sanely in our natural and inborn style. If we choose madness, we do not have the freedom to offer a different kind of madness given to us by our make.  Madness is our Procrustean bed.  We made it and now we must lie in it and suffer the exclusion of any of our members whether act or orphan that is unfitting to our nature. We cannot be crazy in other way than the way our sane. Since insanity, like sanity, requires ability.  — David West Keirsey, Track 9, Lecture in the History of Madness, 1982.

Lectures in the History of Madness

The Pillars of Madness

About Keirsey

Dr. David Mark Keirsey is a scientist that is interested in how and why the world works. The first half of his professional career was as a Computer Scientist, specializing in Artificial Intelligence. Notably, he was part of a team who created the software for the first operation of an autonomous cross-country robotic vehicle. In the current latter part of his career, he has broaden his interest to include all of science, mathematics, computation, and the history and future of the world. His plan is to write at least three books, two of which are tentatively called Mathematics Itself and Existence Itself. The third is a book on Leadership. Currently he is part of a web-based company, to develop interactive team and human personality tools based on his father's best-selling work on human temperament. He is a Architect Rational in temperament.
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