Tom Dalzell – Schizophrenia in Freud and Lacan: No Return to pre-Kraepelinian Bewilderment

Issue 40 (Spring 2009) Pages-7-17

This article argues that while Freud accepted Kraepelin’s nosological 
divisions, he reversed the order of late nineteenth century conceptions of psychosis, objective-biological and subjective-biographical, without returning to early nineteenth century Romantic psychiatry or obviating the claims of biological psychiatry on heredity. It demonstrates that neither the conceptions of Freud nor Lacan represent a return to the early Griesinger’s unitary psychosis ” or to pre-Kraepelinian classificatory confusion.

“Schizophrenia” is the new name Eugen Bleuler gave to Emil Kraepelin’s “dementia praecox” in 1908. In a lecture to German psychiatrists that year, Bleuler questioned Kraepelin’s ominous prognosis and early onset. He came up with the new name, with its suggestion of tearing or splitting, because he believed that “splitting” of psychical functions was one of the most salient characteristics of the illness……

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