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Impact of Karl Jaspers’ General Psychopathology: the range of appraisal 

Impact of Karl Jaspers’ General Psychopathology: the range of appraisal
Impact of Karl Jaspers’ General Psychopathology: the range of appraisal

Christoph Mundt

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date: 05 December 2020

Growing unease in the scientific community has stimulated reception of classical authors as Karl Jaspers. By drawing on existential philosophy Jaspers has given GP a depth which allows reflecting the methodological premises of psychopathology. Anthropologic phenomenology of Edmund Husserl was received with scepticism by Jaspers as was V. v. Weizsäcker’s psychosomatic medicine and Mitscherlich`s psychoanalysis. Jaspers refined mainstream psychopathology by understanding their nature and defining precise criteria. Delusion and psychotic symptoms are examples. The observation of patient`s and psychiatrist`s “vicarious self-representations” gained acceptance although low reliability was expected. Substantial critique on GP is rare. Some authors consider Jaspers’ work as replica of French psychiatrists. However, Jaspers’ work is unique in getting in touch philosophy and psychiatry. The comprehensiveness of the material is one merit of GP. Amazing that in times when psychopathological concepts are short lived a book published one hundred years ago still exerts influence. This steady interest may be an indication that GP touches upon the very roots of mental life.

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