The biography A Beautiful Mind, by Sylvia Nasar, and the movie based on it tell the story of a brilliant economist and mathematician tortured by debilitating episodes of schizophrenia. John Forbes Nash, Jr. made unparalleled intellectual contributions to academia. However, he was also rather unpleasant and often delusional.
One philosophical question would be, "What determines someone’s moral value?"
In Nash’s case, do his intellect and historical influence on the field of mathematics and social science excuse his unpleasant and sometimes bizarre behavior? In 1994 he won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to game theory—the study of mathematical models of strategic interaction between rational decision-makers. However, Nasar writes of a heated debate within the Nobel Prize committee over whether the ultimate honor in science should be awarded to a man thought to be crazy.
A related philosophical question might be, "How much of human behavior can be blamed on mental illness, and how much is simply personality?"
Can Nash’s disrespectful treatment of others be attributed entirely to schizophrenia? His behavior ultimately cost him his marriage and reputation and altered the trajectory of his career. Was he a victim or was he responsible for his actions?