First name:
18th century
19th century
Field of expertise:
Place of birth:
Chambéry (FRA)
* 14.01.1732
† 11.07.1815
Biography print

French physician and pioneer of medical psychiatry.


Joseph Daquin (1732-1815) was born in Chambéry in the then Duchy of Savoy. He studied at the universities of Turin, Montpellier and Paris, and received his diploma in 1757. He later became a medical doctor with a focus on hydrotherapy and medical hygiene. From 1788 onwards, he worked at several military and civilian hospitals in Chambéry, including the “Hôtel-Dieu de Chambéry”, where he served as medical director, and the hospice of Santa Maria monastery, which cared for patients deemed “incurable” and “mad” (Vanni 1999: 30). In his main work, La Philosophie de la Folie (The Philosophy of Madness), published in 1791, Daquin described different forms of mental disorder as well as their “moral” and physical treatment. He also included studies in anatomy and some clinical case descriptions to illustrate his successes and failures. He firmly rejected diagnostic approaches that were solely based on categorical classifications and emphasised his patients’ individuality in their modes of verbal and behavioural expression. Joseph Daquin died in Chambéry in 1815, at age 82.



Brückner, B. (2011): Moral, Freiheit und Natur. Die Ursprünge der modernen Psychiatrie im Schnittpunkt von Aufklärung und Romantik. In: Sozialpsychiatrische Informationen 41, (3), pp. 8-12.

Daquin, J. (1773): Analyse des eaux thermales d’Aix-en-Savoye. Chambéry: M. F. Gorrin.

Daquin, J. (1787): Topographie médicale de la ville de Chambéry et de ses environs. Chambéry: M. F. Gorrin.

Daquin, J. (1804): La philosophie de la folie. Chambéry: Cléaz.

Daquin, J. (1808): Des eaux thermales d’Aix dans le département du Mont-Blanc. Chambéry: Cléaz.

Nyffeler, J. R. (1961): Joseph Daquin und seine “Philosophie de la Folie”. Zurich: Bucher.

Vanni, D., B. Salomone, D. Pomini, P. Vanni, R. Ottaviani (1999): Joseph Daquin. Piedmontese Savoyard physician. A “not-well-known Chiarugi”. In: Vesalius 5, (1), pp. 30-40.


Robin Pape


Referencing format
Robin Pape (2015): Daquin, Joseph.
In: Biographisches Archiv der Psychiatrie.
(retrieved on:03.10.2023)