Phenomenological aspects on "Zerfahrenheit" and incoherence
Since the time of Griesinger (1845) and Snell (1852), disturbances of thought and language have always been of special importance in descriptions and concepts of mental illness. This observation also applies to "dementia praecox" or "the group of schizophrenias" established by Emil Kraepelin (1899) and Eugen Bleuler (1911) at the beginning of our century. Kraepelin introduced the term "Zerfahrenheit" for special types of disturbances with very characteristic features, defined as "loss of internal or external connection of the chain of ideas," or as "loss of internal unity". His interpretation of these phenomena was similar to many contemporary concepts, e.g. that of Stransky (1914), who used the metaphor of "intrapsychic ataxia". Also, Eugen Bleuler's (1911) descriptions of schizophrenic thinking became of major influence. Bleuler gathered together—along with disturbances of affect, ambivalence and autism—the disorders of thought and language—especially "loosening of associations"—as characteristic fundamental symptoms which are always present in schizophrenia.
Sass, H. (1992)., Phenomenological aspects on "Zerfahrenheit" and incoherence, in M. Spitzer, M. A. Schwartz & M. A. Schwartz (eds.), Phenomenology, language & schizophrenia, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 147-159.
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