[The concept of liberty in Jaspers' psychopathology]

Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr. 2003 Oct;71(10):509-16. doi: 10.1055/s-2003-42873.
[Article in German]


The debate on conceptional problems represents a fundamental and inevitable challenge also for contemporary biological psychiatry. Especially questions concerning liberty, loss of liberty and regaining liberty are relevant for daily psychiatric practice. This study attempts to critically and systematically investigate the answers given in the philosophy and psychopathology of Karl Jaspers. Thereby, the key term "Grenzsituation" (border situation) plays a significant role. The interpretation of psychiatric disorder as an exceptional state of existence, possibly converting "Alltagssituationen" (situations of daily life) to "Grenzsituationen", sheds new light on Jaspers' thoughts about the concept of liberty which, thus, turn out to be of crucial relevance for the necessary discussions of ethical principles in the era of molecular psychiatry.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • English Abstract
  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Freedom*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Psychiatry / ethics*
  • Psychiatry / history
  • Psychopathology* / history

Personal name as subject

  • Karl Jaspers