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The birth of schizophrenia or a very modern Bleuler: a close reading of Eugen Bleuler's 'Die Prognose der Dementia praecox' and a re-consideration of his contribution to psychiatry


Maatz, Anke; Hoff, Paul (2014). The birth of schizophrenia or a very modern Bleuler: a close reading of Eugen Bleuler's 'Die Prognose der Dementia praecox' and a re-consideration of his contribution to psychiatry. History of psychiatry, 25(4):431-440.

Abstract

After Eugen Bleuler introduced 'schizophrenia' in 1908, the term was hotly debated but eventually led to the abandonment of Kraepelin's previous term 'dementia praecox'. Bleuler's contribution has subsequently been interpreted in two main ways. One tradition holds that Bleuler merely renamed 'dementia praecox' while conceptually continuing the Kraepelinian tradition. The other, focusing on Bleuler's characterization of 'dementia praecox' in terms of specific psychological alterations, accredits him with a genuine re-conceptualization. Based on a close reading of 'Die Prognose der Dementia praecox', the paper in which Bleuler first mentioned 'schizophrenia', we suggest a further interpretation of Bleuler's contribution and argue that the main motive for his re-conceptualization is to be found in his rejection of Kraepelinian nosology.

Abstract

After Eugen Bleuler introduced 'schizophrenia' in 1908, the term was hotly debated but eventually led to the abandonment of Kraepelin's previous term 'dementia praecox'. Bleuler's contribution has subsequently been interpreted in two main ways. One tradition holds that Bleuler merely renamed 'dementia praecox' while conceptually continuing the Kraepelinian tradition. The other, focusing on Bleuler's characterization of 'dementia praecox' in terms of specific psychological alterations, accredits him with a genuine re-conceptualization. Based on a close reading of 'Die Prognose der Dementia praecox', the paper in which Bleuler first mentioned 'schizophrenia', we suggest a further interpretation of Bleuler's contribution and argue that the main motive for his re-conceptualization is to be found in his rejection of Kraepelinian nosology.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:December 2014
Deposited On:21 Sep 2016 08:53
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 20:24
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0957-154X
Funders:Swiss National Science Foundation
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0957154X14546606
PubMed ID:25395441

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