Madness and Leadership
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Madness and Leadership

From Antiquity to the New Common Era

Savvas Papacostas

Madness and Leadership studies leaders and followers from social, cultural, and biologic perspectives and explores aspects of their personalities that induce them to assume their respective roles. It proposes that leadership and followership are evolutionary adaptations, developed to enhance survival and group cohesion; that leaders possess certain biologically-derived personality traits which set them apart and alert followers, consciously or unconsciously, of their status. Important factors that enhance leader emergence have been linked through evolution and are constituents of all societies past and present. Within political theories and historical examples, this book carries the discussion on leadership into a new direction by suggesting that mild psychopathology is one of its central components.
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Chapter 4: Social deviance and the limits of tolerance

Savvas Papacostas


I cannot see that anything is involved in attributing causal efficacy to rules beyond the claim that these rules are constituent elements of the states postulated in an explanatory theory of behaviour and enter into our best account of this behaviour. Noam Chomsky So far, we have considered evidence that schizophrenia is somehow related to our ‘humanness’ as it appears to have evolved along with language, a characteristic that is uniquely ours; moreover, if Horrobin’s (1998) hypothesis proves to be sound, the condition may have enhanced the introduction of such qualities in our species, as inclinations towards the arts, religion and politics. In other words, many of the attributes that set us apart from other primate species. The price we have paid, as we previously argued, is the constant presence of schizophrenia, at a rate of about 1 per cent, across all human populations. Obviously, as it was also discussed, this illness is dysfunctional enough to preclude its bearers from meaningful participation in the social process. It is their relatives, however, who bear milder forms of psychotic conditions (such as manic-depressive illness and personality disorders characterized by paranoia), that exhibit characteristics that in certain circumstances, inspire trust in others, and who are subsequently elected into positions of leadership.

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