Authors
Pierre-Henri Castel
École des hautes études en sciences sociale
Abstract
Before broaching our main subject, and exploring why, among all disorders of the mind, obsessive-compulsive disorders have a place apart, I would like to start from a dilemma that is well-known to historians interested in mental disorders. According to one approach, a mental illness X is considered as a bona fide or ‘genuine’ illness if, and only if, it originates from a disturbance of the brain. Its neurobiological form is in this case considered as invariant, whatever cultural veneer might give it a different aspect in accord with historical and local settings. The assumption is that this veneer does not, properly speaking, have any deep grounding in reality...
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DOI 10.1353/ppp.2014.0047
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