History of psychiatry journal — online first

In the ‘online first’ section of the History of Psychiatry journal there have appeared a few new articles during the past two months which could be of interest to h-madness readers. Below you find the abstracts and a link to these articles.

Vesa Hirvonen, Mental disorders in commentaries by the late medieval theologians Richard of Middleton, John Duns Scotus, William Ockham and Gabriel Biel on Peter Lombard’s Sentences.

“In their commentaries on the Sentences, Richard of Middleton, John Duns Scotus, William Ockham and Gabriel Biel reflect whether mentally-disturbed people can receive the sacraments (Baptism, Eucharist, confession, marriage) and fulfil juridical actions (make a will or take an oath). They consider that the main problem in ‘madmen’ in relation to the sacraments and legal actions is their lack of the use of reason. Scotus and Ockham especially are interested in the causes of mental disorders and the phenomena which happen in madmen’s minds and bodies. In considering mental disorders mostly as naturally caused psycho-physical phenomena, Scotus and Ockham join the rationalistic mental disorder tradition, which was to become dominant in the early modern era and later.”

S. Robert Snodgrass, Stanley Cobb, the Rockefeller Foundation and the evolution of American psychiatry.

“Stanley Cobb founded the Harvard Departments of Neurology (1925) and Psychiatry (1934) with Rockefeller Foundation funding. Cobb was an important transitional figure in both neurology and psychiatry. He and his friend Alan Gregg were the most visible parts of the Rockefeller Foundation psychiatry project, which prepared American psychiatry for the rapid growth of psychiatric research after World War II. Edward Shorter called him the founder of American biological psychiatry, but this misunderstands Cobb and the Hegelian evolution of twentieth-century American psychiatry. I review the major role of the Rockefeller Foundation in the evolution of American academic psychiatry and the disappearance of Cobb’s teaching and that of his mentor Adolf Meyer, a founding father of American academic psychiatry”.

Fatih Artvinli, ‘Pinel of Istanbul’: Dr Luigi Mongeri (1815–82) and the birth of modern psychiatry in the Ottoman Empire.

“Italian physician/alienist Dr Luigi Mongeri (1815–82), who graduated from the School of Medicine in Pavia and worked as chief physician at Süleymaniye and Toptaşı Lunatic Asylums, introduced important reforms that shaped modern psychiatry in the Ottoman Empire. Because of his projects and practices he was likened to Philippe Pinel (1745–1826), and was called the ‘Pinel of Istanbul’ or ‘Pinel of the Turks’. This article aims to examine the birth of modern psychiatry in the Ottoman Empire, through the biography of Luigi Mongeri and his writings on insanity”.

Andrew Scull, Creating a new psychiatry: on the origins of non-institutional psychiatry in the USA, 1900–50.

“This paper examines the early origins of the shift away from institutional psychiatry in the USA. It focuses on the period between 1900 and 1950. Attention is paid to the role of neurologists and disaffected asylum doctors in the early emergence of extra-institutional practice; to the impact of the National Committee for Mental Hygiene and Thomas Salmon; to the limited role of psychoanalysis during most of this period; and to the influence of the Rockefeller Foundation’s decision to focus most of its effort in the medical sciences on psychiatry.”


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