Psychiatry in an Anthropological and Biomedical Context: by Gerlof Verwey (auth.)

By Gerlof Verwey (auth.)

In the interval among approximately 1820 and approximately 1870 German psychiatry was once born and reborn: fust as anthropologically oriented psychiatry after which as biomedical psychiatry. There has, to this point, been nearly no systematic exam of the philosophical factors which made up our minds those conceptions of psychiatry. the purpose of our examine is to make up for this omission to the simplest of our skill. The paintings is aimed toward a truly diversified readership: within the first position historians of technological know-how (psychiatry, drugs, psychology, body structure) and psychiatrists (psychologists, physicians) with an curiosity within the philosophical and ancient features in their self-discipline, and within the moment position philosophers operating within the fields of the historical past of philosophy, philosophy of technological know-how, philosophical anthropology and philosophy of drugs. The constitution and content material of our research were made up our minds via an try and stability various ways to the ancient fabric. One process emphasises the philosophical literature and appears on the query of ways during which authentic philosophy decided the self-conception (Selbstverstiindnis) of the technological know-how of the day (Chapters 2 and 4). the opposite stresses the medical literature and is anxious with throwing mild on its philosophical implications (Chapters 1 and 3).

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Extra info for Psychiatry in an Anthropological and Biomedical Context: Philosophical Presuppositions and Implications of German Psychiatry, 1820–1870, 1st Edition

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Thomas Aquinas and the nineteenth-century somaticists is to date virtually non-existent,132 so that the historical support for this hypothesis remains perforce, for the moment, far from complete. 4. M. 133 Jacobi's position is characterised by a radicalism which is not found, in the form in which he defended it, among his somaticist contemporaries and which was not followed up by later generations of psychiatrists. One of the most characteristic features of Jacobi's psychiatric theory is his conviction of the dependent nature of psychic disorders.

Gegenstiindliches Denken thus clearly had a different meaning for Heinroth than it had for Goethe. To Heinroth, the gegenstiindliches Denken practised by the anthropologist is not a goal in itself, and the ultimate purpose of anthropology is not fulfilled with the knowledge about man acquired by means of gegenstiindliches Denken, but is, so to speak, religious and pedagogic. ANTHROPOLOGICAL PSYCHIATR Y IN GERMANY 13 According to Heinroth, what anthropology is about (as we have seen earlier 55) is making man familiar with himself (his organic and mental organisation) in order to make him aware of the schOpferische Wahrheit (creative truth) which is revealed in it.

The anachronistic interpretation of this disagreement as a conflict of methodological ideas is no more than superficial. It disregards the ultimate grounds on which these methodological differences are based: the difference in the philosophical conception ofthe soul and the soul-body relationship. At a later stage in the history of psychiatry, with mechanism and materialism gaining ground in Germany in the second half of the nineteenth century, the philosophical-anthropological background of psychicist and somaticist psychiatry sank into oblivion and was no longer recognised, and this, coupled with the rise of the natural science view of psychiatry, which was the reverse side of this oblivion, favoured an interpretation which saw somaticist psychiatry as a sort of pre-scientific forerunner of this natural science psychiatry and perceived the conflict between psychicists and somaticists as an anticipation of the problem, always topical in psychiatry, of the possibility or impossibility of psychic causality.

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