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Le Pongo, l’idiot et le cagot. Quelques remarques sur la définition de l’Autre

Département des littératures de l'Université Laval
Publication Date
DOI: 10.7202/501270ar
  • Medicine


In the final analysis, this article takes up the question of defining the limit of the human — that is,the question of the Other. lt is the same problem, regardless of whether it involves the "man of the woods"(the orangutan),the idiot or the "cagot" (a member of a group of outcasts in the south-western France, considered to be cretins).These questions, still unsettled during the 17 th century, gradually became the purview of the nascent field of psychiatry. The question of the wild boy of Aveyron, like that of the idiot of the canton of Valais or that of the cagot were taken up as problems by Pinel or Esquirol. It is my opinion that such questions could indeed be integrated into a problematic surrounding tolerance.

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