Keywords: Personality, Psychiatry, Moral Consciousness, Foucault, Tzedek.
This paper analyzes the concept of moral consciousness introduced by the French
psychiatrist Henri Baruk. As acknowledged Chief of the Charenton asylum, Baruk
has elaborated a philosophical theory and a therapeutic practice by interlacing
Pinel’s legacy to the Jewish tradition. Baruk’s original statement is that mental
illness is due to the removal of guilt for an injustice committed, and the concept
of human personality descends from the jewish traditional idea of tzedek. This
concept of personality and the related test of tzedek were largely employed in criminology and psychiatry in the first half of twentieth century. The first part of this paper deals with a treatment based on the reintegration of justice; the second part is dedicated to an almost unknown Baruk-Foucault debate on psychiatric detention.