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date: 18 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Ernst Kretschmer was an assistant to Professor Robert Gaupp in Tübingen. His contributions to the field of psychopathology can be reduced to two main themes: the first consists in the analysis of a particular form of delusion called “sensitive delusion of reference,” developed in his book Der Sensitive Beziehungswahn (The Sensitive Delusion of Reference) in 1918; the second concerns the construction of a constitutional typology which attempts to identify, on the basis of the temperamental and physical-constitutional characteristics of the subjects, all possible degrees and steps leading to the two major psychoses: manic-depressive psychosis and schizophrenia. While the somatic-based constitutional type now belongs to the history of psychiatry, the attention to the comprehensibility of the paths leading to the area of major psychoses remains an unavoidable point of reference for those who refuse to give up the attempt to introduce the dimension of subjectivity and understanding into the area of psychosis.

Keywords: delusion, reference, paranoia, constitution, tipology, disposition, psychopathological development

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