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

by Julia Evans on January 1, 1935

Under the title Psychology and Aesthetics, an account by Jacques Lacan appeared in Recherches philosophiques 1935, fac. 4, p. 424‐ 431, on the work of E. Minkowski, Le temps vécu. Études phénoménologiques et psychopathologiques [Phenomenological and psychopathological studies], Paris, Coll. de l’Évolution psychiatrique.

Translated by Anthony Chadwick, with notes by Richard G. Klein

Published at www.Freud2Lacan.com, see here  

Background (from www.Freud2Lacan.com)

Eugène (Eugeniusz) Minkowski (1885 –1972) 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, Françoise Minkowska‐Brokman, who was also to become a psychiatrist, and visited Bleuler in Zürich just before the First World War. The outbreak of World War I forced them to retreat to Zürich where Eugène and his wife both became assistants to Eugen Bleuler at the Burghölzli. He was known for his incorporation of phenomenology into psychopathology and for exploring the notion of “lived time”[temps vécu]. A student of Eugen Bleuler, he was also associated with the work of Ludwig Binswanger and Henri Ey. He was influenced by the phenomenological philosophy and the vitalistic philosophy of Henri Bergson, and by the phenomenologists Edmund Husserl and Max Scheler; therefore his work departed from classical medical and psychological models. He was a prolific author in several languages and regarded as a great humanitarian. Minkowski accepted the phenomenological essence of schizophrenia as the trouble générateur (“generating disorder”) as he thought that it consists in a loss of “vital contact with reality” and shows itself as autism. He influenced Henri Ey, R.D. Laing, and Maurice Merleau‐Ponty. Lacan cites one book and two articles of Minkowski in the bibliography of his doctoral thesis. 

Eugène Minkowski’s Le Temps vécu: études phénoménologiques et psychopathologiquesParis: D’Artrey, 1933 (Lived Time, Evanston, IL.:Northwestern University Press, 1970) articulates a phenomenology of time that is as inspired by the philosophical writings of Henri Bergson and Edmund Husserl as it is by the psychiatric descriptions of Eugen Bleuler. After providing a phenomenological description of the experience of time in normal life, Minkowski considers a number of mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, manic depression, and dementia, and he attempts to show that these pathological cases can be characterized in terms of a distortion of lived time and space. 

Related text

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


p252 of Troisième Rapport – Contribution à l’étude des phobies : probably September 1955 (Paris) : Jean Mallet  or here  :  De la série phobique que nous venons d’envisager et qui comprend, rappelons-le, l’angoisse dans la nuit, la phobie des plages obscures, la phobie des espaces dissimulés, et enfin la phobie de l’espace derrière soi, le premier terme est, dans certains cas, neutralisé assez tôt, et de la manière suivante. Par une sorte de réalisation hallucinatoire, l’enfant confère à la nuit dans laquelle il se trouve plongé une matérialité d‘« enveloppe », « palpable », « pénétrante » et « vivante ». E. Minkowski a donné la description de ce phénomène tel qu’il est éprouvé par l’adulte (1).  [(1) E. Minkowski, Vers une psychopathologie de l’espace, Le temps vécu, p. 372. See On the work of Eugène Minkowski, Le temps vécu (lived time) : 1935 : Jacques Lacan or here ]   …   Après l’angoisse dans la nuit et la phobie des zones obscures, une deuxième série phobique fait son apparition.                                                                                                                    


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


Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst,  London & Sandwich in Kent


Further relevant posts from:

By Jacques Lacan  here 

By Edward Minkowski 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