The broad long-term objective is to write a biography of Philippe Pinel (1745-1826) in the context of the intellectual and cultural history of nascent psychiatry. the book will elucidate the transformation of that filed form an aspect of 18th-century philosophy, medicine, therapy, ad custody into a modern medical specialty.
The specific aim i s to investigate the education, evolution, stature, and impact of Pinel whole lifespan provides the chronologic limits of this study. Chapter I explores Pinel's twin heritage of Catholicism and surgery, chapter II, his vocation for medicine and preoccupation with nosology, vitalism, and clinical observation in Montpellier and his long years of self-education in Paris. Chapter III takes him to Bicetre Hospice where Pinel developed his novel emphasis on systematic observation of patient behavior, on the ill person's life experiences, the precipitating event of the illness, the natural history of the disease, and the composition of the case history. Chapter IV deals with the professor of medical pathology at the Paris Health School, his research, teaching, and writing; chapter V analyzes his three books. Chapter VI depicts Pinel as the resident physician-in-chief at the Salpetriere practicing his famous bedside teaching method, psychologic therapy, and activity in peer review at the Academie des sciences. Chapter VII shows the aging Pinel coping with challenges from a young generation of organicists: Esquirol, A.L. Balyle, Broussais. And Chapter VIII analyzes his legacy and his legend. The importance of the resulting book will be to 1) provide the first modern, broadly based biography; 2) refute the argument that Pinel was no innovator in psychiatry and that he owed his fame to Paris and the Revolution; 3) reexamine the provocative theses that Michel Foucault popularized; 4) portray a new medical specialty. The methodology will be to re-read Pinel's writings with great care, peruse the large contemporary and subsequent literature in at least five languages, examine hitherto untapped archival material, and then write the book.
|Weiner, D B (1992) Philippe Pinel's ""Memoir on Madness"" of December 11, 1794: a fundamental text of modern psychiatry. Am J Psychiatry 149:725-32|