Krafft-Ebing, Richard von

   (1840–1902)
   Born in Mannheim, Germany, his father a high public official, Krafft-Ebing graduated in medicine in Heidelberg in 1863 and in 1864 began psychiatric training with Christian Friedrich Wilhelm Roller (1802–1878) in the Illenau asylum in Baden. Four years later, he opened a private psychiatry practice in the spa town of Baden-Baden. After military service in the 1870–1871 war against France, Krafft-Ebing resumed academic training and in 1872 was called to the (newly German) university at Strasbourg as an associate professor (ausserordentlicher Professor). In 1873, he was appointed director of the asylum in Feldhof bei Graz, Austria, simultaneously coappointed professor of psychiatry at Graz University. (He soon resigned from the asylum appointment to concentrate on the teaching of psychiatry at the university, to which was shortly added neurology.) In 1889, he was called to Vienna as Max Leidesdorf’s replacement as professor of psychiatry in the chair in the Vienna asylum. Until 1892, Krafft-Ebing worked alongside Theodor Meynert (who had the professorship of psychiatry in the Vienna General Hospital), then with Meynert’s death in 1892, Krafft-Ebing switched over to the hospital chair, which had an associated neurology clinic. Krafft-Ebing retired in 1902, moving back to Graz, where he died 6 months later.
   In 1872, Krafft-Ebing published an important manual, Textbook of Psychiatry on a Clinical Basis (Lehrbuch der Psychiatrie auf klinischer Grundlage), an enlarged new edition of which appeared in 1879–1880; the work took an organicist view of mental illness and was noted for its many case histories, a French quality the Germans had begun to borrow. Yet, there is no doubt that the work for which he remains historically celebrated virtually to the present was his great textbook of sexology, Psychopathia sexualis: A Clinical-Forensic Study (. . . eine klinisch-forensische Studie), the first edition of which was published in 1886; 16 subsequent German editions followed plus translations into English (1893), French (1895), and Italian (1896). In retrospect, the book established sexology as a psychiatric area of inquiry, but at the time it scandalized the Austrian academic community while making Krafft-Ebing’s name worldwide a synonym for what was then considered sexual deviation. Krafft-Ebing believed that the various perversities he described in lurid detail were a result of Morelian degeneration, although he later, in 1900, retracted his view that homosexuality was an activity of degenerates. (See HOMOSEXUALITY AND PSYCHIATRY.) For better or worse, this work laid the basis of the modern scientific study of sexuality. The judgment of Krafft-Ebing’s life by his colleague, Viennese neurologist Moritz Benedikt (1835–1920), was that, "He was a highly gifted literary figure but in critical and scientific terms incapable to the point of feeblemindedness" (Aus meinem Leben, pp. 391–392).

Edward Shorter. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Krafft-Ebing, Richard von — (1840–1902)    A devout German Catholic born in Mannheim, Krafft Ebing took his medical degree at Heidelberg and practiced in Baden Baden before leaving for the Styrian capital of Graz in 1873. There he headed a public insane asylum until 1889.… …   Historical dictionary of Austria

  • Краффт-Эбинг, Рихард фон / Krafft-Ebing, Richard von — (1840 1902). Книга Psychopathia sexualis («Сексуальная психопатия») самая известная работа Краффта Эбинга. Он стоял на позициях чисто конституционального подхода и утверждал, что в основе всех сексуальных отклонений лежат генетические дефекты, а… …   Психологическая энциклопедия

  • KRAFFT-EBING (R. von) — KRAFFT EBING RICHARD VON (1840 1902) Psychiatre allemand. Après des études de psychologie et de médecine en Suisse, puis en Allemagne où il est l’élève de Griensinger, Krafft Ebing est nommé professeur de psychiatrie, successivement à Strasbourg …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Krafft-Ebing, Richard, Freiherr von — ▪ German psychologist born Aug. 14, 1840, Mannheim, Baden [Germany] died Dec. 22, 1902, near Graz, Austria       German neuropsychiatrist who was a pioneering student of sexual psychopathology.       Educated in Germany and Switzerland, Krafft… …   Universalium

  • Krafft-Ebing, Richard, Freiherr (Baron) von — born Aug. 14, 1840, Mannheim, Baden died Dec. 22, 1902, near Graz, Austria German neuropsychiatrist. Educated in Germany and Switzerland, he taught psychiatry in the Austrian cities of Strasbourg, Graz, and Vienna, and he pursued studies that… …   Universalium

  • Krafft-Ebing, Richard, (barón) von — (14 ago. 1840, Mannheim, Baden–22 dic. 1902, cerca de Graz, Austria). Neuropsiquiatra alemán. Educado en Alemania y Suiza, enseñó psiquiatría en las ciudades de Estrasburgo, Graz y Viena y realizó estudios que abarcaron desde epilepsia y sífilis… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Richard Von Krafft-Ebing — Le baron Richard de Krafft Ebing et sa femme Marie Louise Richard Freiherr von Krafft Ebing[1] (né le 14 août 1840 à Mannheim et mort le 22  …   Wikipédia en Français

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