Toward a Definition of Mental Retardation

  • Ruth Macklin
  • Willard Gaylin
Part of the The Hastings Center Series in Ethics book series (HCSE)


Historically, the ways in which the mentally retarded have been viewed and treated has often been a reflection of the dominant spirit of the times within a particular culture.1 But whether retarded individuals were ignored, ridiculed, incarcerated, cast out, or looked upon with beneficence, attempts to comprehend and define the phenomena of retardation were few and far between until fairly recent times.


Mental Retardation Retarded Child Conformity Model Formal Thought Operational Thought 
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Copyright information

© The Hastings Center 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth Macklin
    • 1
  • Willard Gaylin
    • 2
  1. 1.Albert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  2. 2.The Hastings CenterHastings-on-HudsonUSA

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