The essential disorder underlying schizophrenia and schizophrenic thought : 1927 : Eugène Minkowski

by Julia Evans on January 1, 1927

Originally published as:

Chapter 2, ‘Le trouble essentiel de la schizophrénie et la pensée schizophrénique’, of La Schizophrénie : Published Payot: Paris: 1927

Translation into English of Chapter 2

The essential disorder underlying schizophrenia and schizophrenic thought : 1927 : Eugene Minkowski

Available at /authors by date or authors a-z

P188-212 of The Clinical Roots of the Schizophrenia Concept : 28th November 1986 : John Cutting & Michael Shepherd (Editors & Authors) :

Information here

Related text

On the work of Eugène Minkowski, Le temps vécu (lived time) : 1935 : Jacques Lacan or here

Eugene Minkowski (c. 1890-1972)

Quoted from ‘The Clinical Roots of the Schizophrenia Concept’

Eugene Minkowski was born of Jewish parents in St Petersburg, went to school in Warsaw and studied medicine in Munich. He was persuaded to take up psychiatry by his wife, who was also to become a psychiatrist, and visited Bleuler in Zurich just before the First World War. He enlisted as a volunteer in the French army in 1915 and became a battalion medical officer, serving with bravery at Verdun, the Somme and the Aisne. He was awarded the honour of ‘Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur’ at the end of the war. He loved France and settled down in Paris after the war. He never had an official post in a hospital but was highly regarded as a clinician and an academic by all who knew him. During the Second World War he was persecuted because of his Jewish status.

Minkowski’s importance as a writer on the theoretical aspects of schizophrenia is still underestimated. He was much influenced by the philosopher Bergson, as well as by Bleuler, and tried to combine the philosophical and the clinical approaches. The following extract is taken from his book on schizophrenia, in which he tries to understand the nature of the condition, particularly the disorder of thinking, incorporating both Bergson’s and Bleuler’s ideas.

Quoted by Jacques Lacan :

Lacan’s case of Aimée : 1932,

‘The Case of Aimée, or Self-punitive Paranoia’: Jacques Lacan: 1932 :

Information and availability here

Lacan cites one book and two articles of Minkowski in the bibliography of his doctoral thesis.

Further texts

By Eugene Minkowski here

By Jacques Lacan  here

By John Cutting here

By Michael Shepherd here

On Ordinary Psychosis here


An increasing number of the texts with unavailable links, can now be found at If not then contact Julia Evans to request a particular text or book.


Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst,  London & Sandwich, Kent


Further relevant posts

By Edward Minkowski here

By Jacques Lacan here

By John Cutting  here

By Michael Shepherd  here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here

Case studies here

Of the clinic here

Lacanian History here

Ordinary Psychosis  here

Case studies from life – historical figures here

Lacanian Transmission here

Some Lacanian history here

By Sigmund Freud here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud here

By Julia Evans here