Science trivia 02

Bleuler and Kraepelin were active proponents of the abstinence movement. Bleuler contributed more as a decent family man than as a devoted Christian. Not being even much of a church goer, involvement in the abstinence movement was for him a socially motivated value choice justified by religion.
     There are parallels in his apparently hesitant reception of Freud. Bleuler must have appreciated the therapeutic potential of psychoanalysis and enjoyed the objective observation that the method afforded.
     I'm tempted to speculate, though, that the philosophical implications of the drive theory had escaped this healer mind: His altruistic more than politically critical perspective must have missed the harshness in human nature. All that desire and violence!
     Moderation is my key concept in understanding Bleuler's choice of method and theory--and values, of course.
     Bleuler, the humanistic enlightened Christian scientist physician of the early 20th century: Keen observer, brilliant physician, pattern spotter... Struggled to maintain a balance between empathy and objective observation. Nosology mattered. And correct, if not ultimate, classifications. He was the category-maker of the twentieth-century psychiatry.
     Aristotelean, yes, indeed!
     No wonder he regretted the introduction of psychoanalysis to Burghölzli, when Jung recklessly--and bravely and irresponsibly--promoted a Platonic attempt at a new psychoanalysis.

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