Discordant insanity : 1912 : Philippe Chaslin

by Julia Evans on January 1, 1912

Originally published as:

‘Chapter 13, Groupe provisoire des folies discordantes’, of Eléments de Sémiologie et Clinique Mentales : Published by Asselin et Houzeau: Paris : 1912

Translation into English of Chapter 13

Discordant insanity : 1912 : Philippe Chaslin

Available here

P147-158 of The Clinical Roots of the Schizophrenia Concept : 28th November 1986 : John Cutting & Michael Shepherd (Editors & Authors) :

Information here

Philippe Chaslin (1857-1923)

Quoted from ‘The Clinical Roots of the Schizophrenia Concept’

Philippe Chaslin was born in Paris. His first love was mathematics and he was only persuaded to take up medicine by his grandfather who was a celebrated physician. He became senior psychiatrist at the Bicêtre Hospital in Paris and then at the Salpêtrière. A retiring bachelor, devoted to his mother and to his profession, he was an avid collector of books and knowledgeable about avant-garde poetry.

His psychiatric writings are marked by an aversion for conventional disease categories. He wrote about the influence of the dream in the content of delirious experience and about the role of primitive thinking in confusional states. His chief work, ‘Elements of Semiology and Clinical Mental Conditions (1912)’, from which the present extract is taken, reflects his unconventional anti-organic stance. Nevertheless, his descriptions of ‘Les folies discordantes’ is remarkably similar to that of Bleuler’s schizophrenia published only a year before. The extract is chosen mainly to illustrate the remarkable convergence of European psychiatric ideas in the first decade of this century, despite the dissimilar backgrounds of the clinicians.

Further texts

By Philippe Chaslin here

By John Cutting here

By Michael Shepherd here

By Jacques Lacan here

Case studies here

Of the clinic here

Lacanian History here