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date: 01 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the psychopathological ideas of Eugène Minkowski, a French psychiatrist of Jewish Polish origin who is regarded as a dominant figure in phenomenological psychiatry due to his translation of theoretical and abstract philosophical notions into ordinary clinical work. After a brief biography, the chapter considers Minkowski’s psychopathological orientation, citing some of the influential figures in his life and work including Henri Bergson and Max Scheler. It then examines Minkowski’s notion of schizophrenia and what he refers to as vital contact with reality, which he describes as a basic mode of human presence in the world. It also looks at two forms of autism proposed by Minkowski, along with one of his most original concepts known as trouble générateur, or generative (generating) disorder. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the contemporary relevance of Minkowski’s ideas.

Keywords: psychopathology, Eugène Minkowski, generative disorder, phenomenological psychiatry, Henri Bergson, Max Scheler, schizophrenia, vital contact with reality, autism, trouble générateur

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