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IMBECILITY, med. jur. A weakness of the mind, caused by the absence or obliteration of natural or acquired ideas; or it is described to be an abnormal deficiency either in those faculties which acquaint us with the qualities and ordinary relations of things, or in those which furnish us with the moral motives that regulate our relations and conduct towards our fellow men. It is frequently attended with excessive activity. of one or more of the animal propensities.
     2. Imbecility differs from idiocy in this, that the subjects of the former possess some intellectual capacity, though inferior in degree to that possessed by the great mass of mankind; while those of the latter are utterly destitute of reason. Imbecility differs also from stupidity. (q.v.) The former consists in a defect of the mind, which renders it unable to examine the data presented to it by the senses, and therefrom to deduce the correct judgment; that is, a defect of intensity, or reflective power. The latter is occasioned by a want of intensity, or perceptive power.
     3. There are various degrees of this disease. It has been attempted to classify the degrees of imbecility, but the careful observer of nature will perhaps be soon satisfied that the shades of difference between one species and another, are almost imperceptible. Ray, Med. Jur. ch. 3; 2 Beck, Med. Jur. 550, 542; 1 Hagg. Ecc. R. 384; 2 Philm. R. 449; 1 Litt. R. 252, 5 John. Ch. R. 161; 1 Litt. R. 101; Des Maladies mentales, considerees dans leurs rapports avec la legislation civille et criminelle, 8; Georget, Discussion medico-legale sur la folie, 140.

References in periodicals archive ?
A license will be revoked for four years if the driver is involved in death or physical injuries resulting in the loss of any part of a victim's body, insanity, imbecility, impotence, blindness or incapacity to work.
Hamilton accused Jefferson of "torturing" the Constitution with rules of construction that would enervate the government and reduce it to "the same state of imbecility which rendered the old confederation contemptible.
that the choicest collection of bug-house imbecility is in control at Lansing.
No man who has endeavored to carry out an enterprise where many hands were needed, but has been well-nigh appalled at times by the imbecility of the average man--the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it.
It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offsprings for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind .
She opined, "by far the most tragic thing about war is not its immorality, nor its cruelty, but its manifest and colossal futility and imbecility.
The experience of sitting through "Dumb and Dumber To," which reunites Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels with directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly 20 years after their maiden voyage to the lower depths of imbecility, is like watching an aging MLB slugger wind down his career in the minor leagues.
Jamison is that rare writer whose prose contains not a shred of self-help imbecility yet is capable of flatly declaring something like this: 'I believe in waking up in the middle of the night and packing our bags and leaving our worst selves for our better ones'" DWIGHT GARNER
It is better for all the world if, instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.
They took the magnanimity of the colonially land-robbed South Africans for political imbecility.
Repeating it would only add imbecility to the attributes of the Egyptian governance system that is heroically trying to reconfigure itself in a democratic and constitutional manner.
Relatives of the Tilendos had asked me to just ignore the reaction, saying Norodin now appears to be in state of imbecility.