Dangerous Passions: The Modern Origins of Medicalization of Emotions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This essay aims to show the origins of the very process of the medicalisation and true pathologisation of passions and emotions that can be found at the "birth" of the discipline of "psychiatry" in Philippe Pinel and also in Jean-Étienne Dominique Esquirol, with particular regard to their books Medico-philosophical Treatise on Mental Alienation and The passions considered as causes, symptoms and means of cure in cases of insanity. Attention is focused on the crucial idea that passions are seen as a cause of mental illness in a narrow sense: the point is that their dangerosité is understood as something that can even lead to hospitalization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-80
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Yearbook of the History of Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Emotions
  • Esquirol
  • Passions
  • Pinel


Dive into the research topics of 'Dangerous Passions: The Modern Origins of Medicalization of Emotions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this