Petteri Pietikäinen

Research areas:

History of psychology, psychiatry and medicine; History of evolutionary theories; History of Utopian thought; Relations between science and politics; Social engineering

Research projects:

  • Mental Health, Medicine and Social Engineering in 20th Century Finland (MenSoc) (Kone Foundation 2014-2018)
  • Northern Finland Health Historical Study (Academy of Finland & University of Oulu, 2017-2021; this is part of a larger Fibrosis -project, which includes researchers from the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular medicine)


• Teaching in the Autumn of 2018:

  1. Graduate seminar and Research seminar for doctoral students
  2. Intellectual history of the United States, 1945-2001, together with Antti Lepistö (thematic lecture course)
  3. Introduction to scientific thinking, principal lecturer  (basic course for the first-year students of the Faculty; lecturers represent history, cultural anthropology, information studies, Sami culture and history of sciences and ideas)

Future research/Research interests:

  • History of madness and the mad
  • Human sciences, social engineering and the question of adjustment
  • History of evolutionary theories
  • Utopian and dystopian thought

Important publications

  • ‘History of abnormal psychology’. In Wade Pickren (ed.), Cambridge Handbook of the Intellectual History of Psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming in 2018/2019.
  • Petteri Pietikäinen & David Clark, ‘The psychology of adjustment in the Unites States from the late 19th century to World War II’. European Yearbook of the History of Psychology, Vol. 3, 2017
  • Katariina Parhi & Petteri Pietikäinen, ‘Socialising the anti-social: Psychopathy, psychiatry and social engineering in Finland, 1945–1968’. Social History of Medicine, Vol. 30, No. 3, 2017, doi:10.1093/shm/hkw093
  • Mikko Myllykangas & Petteri Pietikäinen (toim.), Aatteiden ja oppien jäljillä. Helsinki: Gaudeamus, 2017. [Edited textbook on the history of science and ideas]
  • Madness: A History. London: Routledge 2015
  • Hulluuden historia. Helsinki: Gaudeamus 2013 ['History of Madness']
  • ‘Finland’ [chapter of the history of Finnish psychology]. In The Oxford Handbook of the History of Psychology: Global Perspectives. Oxford University Press 2012.
  •  ‘Strengthening the Will: Public Clinics for the Nervously ill in Sweden in the First Half of the Twentieth Century’. Social History of Medicine, Vol. 22, No.1 2009
  • Alchemists of Human Nature: Psychological Utopianism in Gross, Jung, Reich and Fromm. London: Pickering & Chatto, 2007
  • Neurosis and Modernity: The Age of Nervousness in Sweden. Leiden: Brill, 2007
  • Petteri Pietikäinen (ed.), Modernity and Its Discontents: Sceptical Essays on the Psychomedical Management of Malaise. Stockholm: Ax:son Johnson Foundation, 2005
  • J. Bos, D. Park & P. Pietikainen, ‘Strategic self-marginalization: The case of psychoanalysis’. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. Vol. XLI, No. 3, Summer 2005
  • ‘Truth hurts: The sociobiology debate, moral reading and the idea of dangerous knowledge.’ Social Epistemology, Vol. 18, No. 2-3, April-September 2004
  • “‘The sage knows you better than you know yourself“: Psychological utopianism in Erich Fromm’s work’. History of Political Thought, Vol. XXV, No. 1, Spring 2004
  • ‘The Volk and its Unconscious. Jung, Hauer, and the “German revolution“’. Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 35, No. 4, October 2000
  • C.G. Jung and the Psychology of Symbolic Forms. Helsinki: Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, 1999

Last updated: 5.9.2018