Barbara Chitussi

Guilt and Justice. Henri Baruk’s Moral Psychiatry

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Personality, Psychiatry, Moral Consciousness, Foucault, Tzedek.

This paper analyzes the concept of moral consciousness introduced by the French psychiatrist Henri Baruk. As acknowledged Chief of the Charenton asylum, Baruk has elaborated a philosophical theory and a therapeutic practice by interlacing Pinel’s legacy to the Jewish tradition. Baruk’s original statement is that mental illness is due to the removal of guilt for an injustice committed, and the concept of human personality descends from the jewish traditional idea of tzedek. This concept of personality and the related test of tzedek were largely employed in criminology and psychiatry in the first half of twentieth century. The first part of this paper deals with a treatment based on the reintegration of justice; the second part is dedicated to an almost unknown Baruk-Foucault debate on psychiatric detention.

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