New issue: History of Psychiatry

home_coverThe September 2016 issue of History of Psychiatry is now out and includes a number of articles that may be of interest to H-Madness readers.

The issue also contains the classic text, “Joseph Maxwell on mediumistic personifications” presented by Carlos Alvarado, as well as a number of book reviews.

Full titles and abstract below.


Tsutomu Kumazaki
Theory of mind is a prominent, but highly controversial, field in psychology, psychiatry, and philosophy of mind. Simulation theory, theory-theory and other views have been presented in recent decades, none of which are monolithic. In this article, various views on theory of mind are reviewed, and methodological problems within each view are investigated. The relationship between simulation theory and Verstehen(understanding) methodology in traditional human sciences is an intriguing issue, although the latter is not a direct ancestor of the former. From that perspective, lessons for current clinical psychiatry are drawn.


Fatih Artvinli
The Ottoman Empire, which encompassed a vast territory, had several facilities for the protection and treatment of the mentally ill. By the late nineteenth century, some wealthy families had begun to send their patients to mental hospitals in Europe for better treatment. During the same period, the process of repatriation of mental patients who were Ottoman subjects also began. These processes, which resulted in complex bureaucratic measures, later found a place in regulations and laws. The Ottoman Empire had an additional incentive to protect mentally-ill patients during the Second Constitutional Era, when discussions about ‘citizenship’ reappeared. This article examines the practices of sending mentally-ill people to Europe and the repatriation of mentally-ill Ottoman subjects from European countries.


João M Vaz
Memory is both ubiquitous and persona non grata in the work of Eugène Minkowski. Despite the relevance of memory in the works of those who influenced him, in particular Bergson, Minkowski nonetheless repeatedly overlooked its importance in his writings. To the reader of his work this fact is as much evident as unaccounted for – both by prior research and by Minkowski himself. I shall try to prove that this disregard for memory was conditio sine qua non of Minkowski’s first synthesis of Bleuler and Bergson in a 1921 article, which resulted in his famous concept of loss of vital contact with reality and which he equated with schizophrenia. Moreover, this historical approach will, on the one hand, explain the fragmentary use made by Minkowski of the philosophy of Bergson and, on the other, shed light on central aspects of his Le temps vécu of 1933 that an exclusively philosophical analysis cannot reveal.


Matthew Oram
Over the 1950s and early 1960s, the use of the hallucinogenic drug lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) to facilitate psychotherapy was a promising field of psychiatric research in the USA. However, during the 1960s, research began to decline, before coming to a complete halt in the mid-1970s. This has commonly been explained through the increase in prohibitive federal regulations during the 1960s that aimed to curb the growing recreational use of the drug. However, closely examining the Food and Drug Administration’s regulation of LSD research in the 1960s will reveal that not only was LSD research never prohibited, but that the administration supported research to a greater degree than has been recognized. Instead, the decline in research reflected more complex changes in the regulation of pharmaceutical research and development.


Armin Schäfer
This article discusses both the use of graphology in German psychiatry (1870–1930) and the use of handwriting in psychiatric experiments. The examination of handwriting was part of an ensemble of diagnostic tools. Although disorders of handwriting seemed to indicate psychic diseases, graphology did not seem the right method to produce valid observations. Nevertheless, psychiatrists began to incorporate the process of writing into research and diagnosis and to make the process of handwriting an experimental field. Emil Kraepelin invented an apparatus – the so-called Writing-Scale – with which he could measure the dynamics of writing in various dimensions and, in particular, the pressure of movements. The experiments produced a huge amount of data, but the psychiatrists were unable to interpret them in a comprehensible way. Although psychiatrists failed to grasp the psychopathology in handwriting, they discovered a systemic behaviour of the organism controlled by feedback.


Jacinthe Flore
This article examines the problematization of sexual appetite and its imbalances in the development of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The dominant strands of historiographies of sexuality have focused on historicizing sexual object choice and understanding the emergence of sexual identities. This article emphasizes the need to contextualize these histories within a broader frame of historical interest in the problematization of sexual appetite. The first part highlights how sexual object choice, as a paradigm of sexual dysfunctions, progressively receded from medical interest in the twentieth century as the clinical gaze turned to the problem of sexual appetite and its imbalances. The second part uses the example of the newly introduced Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder in the DSM-5 to explore how the Manual functions as a technique for taking care of the self. I argue that the design of the Manual and associated inventories and questionnaires paved the way for their interpretation and application as techniques for self-examination.


John Cutting, Maria Mouratidou, Thomas Fuchs, and Gareth Owen
Kurt Schneider (1887–1967) met Max Scheler (1874–1928) in 1919 when he enrolled in the latter’s philosophy seminars at the University of Cologne. Kurt Schneider was then a junior psychiatrist and Max Scheler a renowned philosophy professor and co-founder of the phenomenological movement in philosophy. We uncover the facts about their intellectual and personal relationship, summarize the main articles and books that they wrote and consider whether Max Scheler did influence the young Kurt Schneider. We conclude that Scheler’s philosophy of emotion impressed Schneider, and that the latter’s notion of ‘vital depression’ as the core element in melancholia was essentially applied Schelerian philosophy. Schneider’s more celebrated contributions to psychiatry – his notion of first rank symptoms of schizophrenia – owed nothing to Scheler or any other philosopher.


Marco Cascella
In 1891 the Italian psychiatrist Enrico Morselli (1852–1929) described taphophobia, defining it as an extreme condition of claustrophobia due to the fear of being buried alive. This rare psychopathological phenomenon reflects an ancient fear, and its origin is not known. Taphophobia is closely linked to the problem of apparent death and premature burial. In the nineteenth century, scientists and authors paid particular attention to the issue of apparent death, and special devices (safety coffins) were invented to ensure that premature burial was avoided. Nowadays taphophobia is quite a rare psychiatric disorder; different forms of social anxiety disorders are much more widespread. Its modern equivalent could be the fear of organs harvested from a patient who is still alive.

To access the full issue, click here.

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