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Hist Psychiatry. 2005 Sep;16(63 Pt 3):345-64.

The Directions of psychiatric research by Emil Kraepelin. 1887.


This classic text reproduces Emil Kraepelin's inaugural lecture at the University of Dorpat in 1887. It represents one of the most succinct contemporary surveys of German psychiatric discourse in the 1880s. It also outlines Kraepelin's own research priorities in the early years of his career, providing important historical background to the motives that drove him to place such great emphasis on (and hope in) experimental psychology. Contrary to our contemporary image of Kraepelin as a grand clinical nosologist, this text shows that he was much more of a diagnostician and experimental psychologist than historians have generally assumed. The document also reflects a wider 'psychological turn' in German psychiatry, away from patho-anatomic study - a turn that has often been overlooked in the historiographic literature.

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