Genius and Madness

I’m convinced this is a very fine line.


Like ‘doc brown’ from the movie ‘back to the future’?

Unfortunately, the line is clear cut in my opinion.

Brilliance with a touch of madness
Madness with a touch of brilliance

The particle collapses differently depending on how it’s observed


I could ramble all about Hans Eysenck’s research and theory on this but just google his name

…just think Sz types have deeper insights than your average bear. And if harnessed properly, could be a positive outcome.


Genius = Able To Build and Re-Build Jumping Particles

Madness = Came Up With Thee idea To Do Something So Freakin Weird

If the genius is more observant, perceptive and conceptually recognizant… will he or she be more conflicted by the naturally ambiguous state of reality? & if he or she takes the conflicts too seriously, will he or she… go mad?

Madness opens you to a different perception. How that is developed, executed, and applies determines much of whether or not genius is a relevant outcome. Regardless of any sort of genius you become as a result of madness, your pain will still be there and it will often be brutal. It’s a rocky road.

I’m not so sure it’s a fine line. Depends on your definitions. We have plenty of mad people on here, but how many of us are geniuses.? Are real geniuses really close to being mad? The great artists, scientists, inventors, philosophers etc, are certainly are not like us here.

Some were. I think it’s one of those theories that doesn’t look at enough. I believe there is a correlation. Not everyone who is mad is a genius and vice versa. if you are one but not the other you are totally off the radar and not factored into the study. The ones who fit the description are the ones they pay attention to.

I think most geniuses are characterised by the ability to perceive and think in original ways, which is related to the ability of madness to leave the beaten track. The difference is largely in how that perception and thinking is constrained and disciplined.

A lot of great geniuses and thinkers have a touch of madness, but not every madman has the ability to be a genius. That requires many talents, dedication and work. So there are points of intersection, and a relationship between the two groups. But for some people it is truly a fine line, and for others there is a gulf they will never be able to cross.

I don’t know about this. The people that changed the world, the vast vast majority I would say did not suffer from serious MI. To be a genius I would say a person needs a massive ability to concentrate , and this is lacking in serious MI.

I suppose the seeming connection between the two is that of a unique insight, or something that presents itself as such. I would argue that the difference between the two is that in genius it is genuine insight and in madness there is only an experience that presents itself as insight. Furthermore, these are told apart by means of justification. The initial hunch of a genius might be compared to a madman’s revelation I think, if he would leave it at the hunch and went on preaching it.

But what makes the genius’ insight genuine, is that he ‘makes it work’, that is to say, he can justify his insight by acceptable means, connecting it to established knowledge and expanding knowledge in doing so. An intuition alone is worth nothing, knowledge is. And knowledge is commonly thought to be not just true belief, but justified true belief. A shot in the dark might accidentally turn out to be true, but it’s not a case of knowing without a justification. The genius of Einstein, I would say, does not consist in him having a hunch and writing his famous formula on the chalkboard - if that even happened at all.

The genius is in the mathematical proof that supports it, by connecting it to other proven propositions. The delusions of madmen present themselves as revelations, but we typically lack justification by means of acceptable methods. That is, all too often we resort to circular reasoning, the fallacy of assuming the consequent, confirmation bias etc. To mistake such an unsupported delusional revelation for knowledge is to be confused about what knowledge is.

Much madness is divinest Sense -
To a discerning Eye -
Much Sense - the starkest Madness -
'Tis the Majority
In this, as All, prevail -
Assent - and you are sane -
Demur - you’re straight away dangerous -
And handled with a Chain -
- Emily Dickinson -

Hmmm…lots of interesting commentary on this thread. I think because Genius and Madness are both not the norm, there are some parallels between the two. They can overlap sometimes.

A Genius can lose his mind…a Madman can have flashes of brilliance…etc.

Genius has its limitations,.Insanity…not so much - Darynda Jones, First Grave on the Right