Chapter

Melancholia

Jennifer Radden

in The Nature of Melancholy

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195151657
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849253 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195151657.003.0018
Melancholia

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This chapter presents Philippe Pinel's discussion of melancholy. Pinel is one of the greatest intellectual and moral figures in the history of psychiatry. Coming on the scene at a time of change and reform in every aspect of French medicine, Pinel was able to make a lasting mark on many aspects of medicine and psychiatry in his country. The work for which he is best known is the one from which the following excerpt is drawn. Published first in 1801 and in a revised second edition in 1809, Pinel's Treatise on Insanity was a model of clarity and organization, in which he offered a simplified classification, an etiological analysis, a description of the phases of the disease, remarks on pathological anatomy, and a discussion of treatment. In this work, Pinel offered a five-part classification of mental disorders. There was melancholia (or, as he says, “delirium upon one subject exclusively”), mania without delirium, mania with delirium, dementia, and finally idiotism.

Keywords: Philippe Pinel; mania; melancholy; Treatise on Insanity

Chapter.  3721 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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