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Jaspers and neuroscience 

Jaspers and neuroscience
Chapter:
Jaspers and neuroscience
Author(s):

Matthew R. Broome

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199609253.003.0009
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date: 22 October 2020

In this chapter, Jaspers' views on neuroscience and its relationship to psychopathology are described. Firstly, there will is a brief historical discussion of neuroscience and its place in the first biological psychiatry of the late nineteenth century, showing how Jaspers' concerns fit into wider worries of his near contemporaries around 'brain mythology'. Secondly, the chapter offers a detailed exegesis of Jaspers' views on the psyche and neuroscience in the translated 1959 edition of General Psychopathology, including his views on the unity of the psyche and soma and the importance of both psychopathology and neurology as modes of investigation in psychiatry. Thirdly, a brief survey of Jaspers later general views on science and pluralism is presented. The chapter argues that Jaspers is not by any means opposed to a neuroscientific approach in psychiatry, but rather criticises the view that neuroscience is the only means to study mental disorder.

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