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Schreber's LawJurisprudence and Judgment in Transition$
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Peter Goodrich

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474426565

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474426565.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Conclusion: Laughing in the Void

Conclusion: Laughing in the Void

Chapter:
(p.138) Conclusion: Laughing in the Void
Source:
Schreber's Law
Author(s):

Peter Goodrich

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474426565.003.0007

Nemo nascitur artifex1

My argument, as brilliant as it now seems banal, is that Schreber’s transition, his pain and dysphoria, as also his desire to identify as feminine, to feel as a woman, to leave the law so as to right the law, was a simple reflection, among other causes, of the contemporary institutional prohibition of such visceral and visible performances of ambivalent or transitional gender identification. He was diagnosed as mentally ill, incarcerated as mad, and yet maintained throughout that he was sane, that his transition was real, and that the experience was sufficiently important to record in minute detail and to present to science and philosophy as an empirical datum. Medical categories change, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) moves on, and today we would more likely view the Judge’s ...

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