At the beginning of the twentieth century, when psychoanalysis was just emerging and the tradition of writing psychoanalytic biographies did not yet exist, the genre of pathography was widespread among psychiatrists, who considered the life of a prominent figure through the prism of his or her disease. One of the heroes of the number of pathological investigations was Friedrich Nietzsche, whose figure and philosophical views instigated wide interest. This tendency was manifested among the psychiatrists working in the Russian Empire, including the territory of contemporary Ukraine. The analysis of Nietzsche’s illness and creativity, proposed by a psychiatrist from Odessa Ivan Khmelevskyi, helps to clarify the historical boundaries between the pathography and psychobiography. The current article for the first time attempts to reproduce the basic data on the life and research activities of this now almost forgotten psychiatrist. The specificity of I. Khmelevskyi’s views on F. Nietzsche becomes more obvious due to the consideration of the position of Vladimir Chyzh, another Russian psychiatrist who was also interested in the figure and ideas of the German philosopher. It is shown that the pathographies of F. Nietzsche, proposed by I. Khmelevskyi and V. Chyzh, reflected both some features of the development of the genre and general trends in understanding of Nietzsche’s figure and teachings within the Russian context. It is shown that V. Chyzh and I. Khmelevskyi, like many scientists of their time, shared some ideas about evolution and degeneration, which are now considered outdated. At the same time, it has been shown that both psychiatrists confronted with the philosophy and figure of F. Nietzsche were forced to limit the explanatory ambitions of psychiatry and avoid the usual for pathographers of that time tendency to consider genius as a pathology. It is also noted that the fact of Nietzsche’s illness, if not overemphasized, can be accepted to the philosophical discourse of the present time.
Keywords Іван Хмелевський  Володимир Чиж  Фрідріх Ніцше  біографія філософа  патографія  психобіографія
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DOI 10.18523/2617-1678.2021.7.17-29
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