L'Information Psychiatrique


Contribution to the history of interpretation delusion Volume 94, issue 9, Novembre 2018

1 IME « Le Marais »,
13 rue Saint-Dominique,
85300 Challans, France
2 IME « Les Terres Noires »,
Route de Mouilleron,
85000 La Roche-sur-Yon,
Adresse personnelle :
12 avenue Saint-Louis,
44140 Geneston
* Correspondance

Paul Sérieux and Joseph Capgras published their work in 1909 which has now become a classic: Reasoning madness. Interpretation Delusion. It is a not hallucinatory delusion, the mechanism of which is essentially interpretative. The interpretations base themselves on small facts of the everyday life, on readings, attitudes, viewpoints, all interpreted in a more or less hostile way, which concern the subject (“personal meaning”), and which, being somewhat linked one to the other, produce a systematized delusion. It is interesting to browse the history of the Interpretation Delusion with articles by Sérieux and Capgras that precede the date of 1909, but also with articles which will subsequently follow. It is interesting and important also to return on the works of the other authors of the same period. Most of them immediately welcomed the works of Sérieux and Capgras, other authors moved towards a certain criticism which promoted the debates concerning the clear-cut distinction or not between delusion of one interpretation and hallucination. Thus a review of the literature is dedicated to these authors of the beginning of the 20th century. We shall extend our study with the arrival of the psychoanalytical theory, among others with J. Lacan who from the thirties to the fifties was particularly interested in the question of interpretation in psychosis. We shall see how we can articulate delusion of interpretation and elementary phenomenon. We shall also attempt to assert the importance of the concept of delirious interpretation, central in psychosis, by articulating it in the hypothesis of the unconscious, in the structure of language, by insisting on the dimension of decoding necessary for the subject, a decoding of the world which allows one to make sense of an enigmatic and disturbing reality. This delusion can be considered as a singular reading of the world which allows to shed particular light on this subject, a perspective which eventually produces answers that subsequently results in a function of alleviation and relief.

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