The Representation of Italian Psychiatry in Italian Treccani Encyclopedia in 1930's

Andrea Piazzi, Gioia Piazzi, Luana Testa, Maria Antonietta Coccanari Dè Fornari


The article reconstruct the situation of Italian psychiatry around 1930, using as unusual sources the pages of the Enciclopedia Italiana di Scienze, Lettere e Arti. This important work, conceived in 1925 and finished in 1937, is due - as well known - to the strong interest of Giovanni Gentile and to his capacity to involve in the project a great part of Italian intellectual world, without any ideological preclusion. The section devoted to Medical Sciences, including Psychiatry, was directed by Nicola Pende (1880-1970) and Giacinto Viola (1870-1943). A prevalent positivistic approach to science is well testified by their specific attention to preventive and social medicine, researches in Genetics and in biotypological constitutions.
Psycopathological and psycological lemmas are very limited, underlying the medical disinterest towards contemporary philosophy and psycology.

Key words: Enciclopedia Italiana - Treccani - History of Psychiatry

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