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Psychiatr Prax. 1999 Jul;26(4):157-62.

[Scientific psychology in the works of Eugen Bleuler].

[Article in German]

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Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik, Zürich.


The name of Eugen Bleuler is usually known in the context of the definition and conceptualization of schizophrenic disorders. Main other topics, less known in literature, are alcoholism, forensic psychiatry and general psychological topics of meaning of consclousness, formation of motive and will. Bleulers point of view presents itself as an empirically-based and anti-philosophic one, definitely deterministic concerning the topic of human "freedom of will". Eugen Bleuler refers to an already (especially by Richard Semon) systematically developed theory called "mnemism" that he interpreted and applied to the psychological circumstances mentioned above. That theory of "mnemism", that can be most adequately described as a biogenetic-vitalistic theory, is assuming, that all organic life--independent of the possibility of a self-reflecting consciousness--is able to learn experiences made by analysis of environment and to pass it on following generations. Pattern of stimulus reactions are in the sense of this theory memorized and reactivated under similar situational circumstances by the psychological mode of association. The influence of psychoanalytical theories, especially the presumed importance of infantil sexuality, on Bleulers understanding of a medical psychology seems to fade over the years.

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