戦前の精神病学における「精神薄弱」概念の理論史研究 [in Japanese] A Study of the Theoretical History of the Concept of "Mental Deficiency" in Japanese Psychiatry Prior to World War II [in Japanese]
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The purpose of the present paper is to investigate the process of formation of the concept of "mental deficiency" in psychiatry in Japan prior to World War II, and the characteristics of this concept, using the study method of theoretical history. Materials examined were the main books written on psychiatry by Shyuzo Kure, Koh'ichi Miyake, and Naoki Sugita, who were well-known psychiatrists in Japan. The main results were as follows: (1) Emil Kraepelin's psychiatric system influenced the formation of the concept of "mental dificiency" and its classifications ("idiot", "imbecile", and "moron") in Japan. Kraepelin's system was also important in that it transferred "mental deficiency" from being a concept of mental disease to being a concept of disability. (2) Koh'ichi Miyake proposed to adopt mental testing to supplement the diagnosis and classification of "mental deficiency" on the basis of psychiatric diagnoses in Kraepelin's system. (3) Naoki Sugita constructed a new concept of "mental deficiency" from the point of view of the chronological age and life experience of mentally retarded children. Sugita's new concept consisted of two dimensions: a defect in intelligence and a disability in social life adaptation. Sugita's concept of "mental deficiency" was adopted not only in psychiatry, but in all other related fields prior to World War II, and it influenced the concept of "mental deficiency" after World War II. These three paradigm changes were caused by two factors. The first was academic independence and the formation as an agent of Japanese psychiatry. The second was that pedagogy, psychology, education, and social work practices relating to "mental dificiency" had formed after those in psychiatry, and that, as a result of confrontation and disputation between these other areas and psychiatry, the concept of "mental deficiency" was modified and became much more sophisticated.
- The Japanese Journal of Special Education
The Japanese Journal of Special Education 35(1), 33-43, 1997
The Japanese Association of Special Education