This paper links the historical perspective with the actual debate on the concept of schizophrenia. By this, two aims shall be accomplished. First, to prove that Eugen Bleuler's (1857-1939) concept of 'schizophrenia' in its central parts was a clear step forward, as compared to previous approaches, especially the notion of 'dementia praecox', proposed and favored by French authors like Bénédict Augustin Morel (1809-1873) and, in Germany, by Emil Kraepelin (1856-1926). Bleuler considerably reduced the epistemological presuppositions of Kraepelin's nosological model and coined the term 'group of schizophrenias', which was markedly broader and, as for prognosis, much less pessimistic. The second aim of this paper is to argue in favor of a continuous reflection upon psychiatry's historical and epistemological basis which is regarded not just as 'l'art pour l'art', but as an indispensable component of psychiatry, clinically and scientifically.