Henri F. Ellenberger, the Swiss medical historian, is best remembered today as the author ofThe Discovery of the Unconscious(1970), a brilliant, encyclopedic study of psychiatric theory and therapy from primitive times to the mid-twentieth century. However, in addition to this well-known work, Ellenberger has written over thirty essays in the history of the mental sciences. This collection unites fourteen of Ellenberger's most interesting and methodologically innovative historical essays, many of which draw on new and rich bodies of primary materials. Several of the articles appear here in English translation for the first time.
The essays deal with subjects such as the intellectual origins of psycho-analysis, the work of the French psychological school of Jean-Martin Charcot and Pierre Janet, the role of the "great patients" in the history of psychiatry, and the cultural history of psychiatry. The publication of these writings, which corresponds with the opening in Paris of the Institut Henri Ellenberger, truly establishes Ellenberger as the founding figure of the historiography of psychiatry. Accompanying the essays are an extensive interpretive introduction and a detailed bibliographical essay by the editor.
Originally published in 1993.
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