Iustin Evdokimovich Diadkovskii

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Diad’kovskii, Iustin Evdokimovich


Born June 1 (12), 1784, in the village of Diad’kovo, present-day Riazan’ Oblast; died July 22 (Aug. 3), 1841, in Piatigorsk. Russian doctor of internal medicine and materialist philosopher.

In 1812, Diad’kovskii graduated from the Moscow Academy of Medicine and Surgery, and from 1824 to 1830 he was a professor at the academy. Diad’kovskii fought as a volunteer in the Patriotic War of 1812. In 1830–31 he was a member of the Central Commission for Combating Cholera, and from 1831 to 1836 he was a professor of internal diseases at Moscow University. In 1836 he was dismissed from his teaching post at the university for his “blasphemous attitude” toward religion and his materialist views. Diad’-kovskii acknowledged the materiality of the world and held matter to be the sole principle and eternal. According to Diad’kovskii, the ability of matter to react to external forces is the basis of perception (thought, sensation).

Diad’kovskii rejected the notion prevailing at that time in medicine of a “vital force” and “vital spirit.” He believed that all the functions of the organism were centered in the brain. Diad’kovskii approached the problems of heredity from a materialist standpoint, stressing the influence of the external environment. He regarded disease as a process affecting the whole organism and held its essential nature to be qualitative and quantitative changes in the organism’s material substratum. Diad’kovskii proposed a classification of diseases based on the nervous system, to which he assigned an important role in the development of pathological processes. His ideas on the primary role of the nervous system in the life of the organism influenced the scientific views of I. M. Sechenov and S. P. Botkin. Diad’kovskii developed methods of questioning and examining the patient and means of rational diagnosis and treatment. He distinguished between preventive medicine and restorative treatment and emphasized the recuperative power of climatic and health resort therapy.


Sochinenia. Voprosy obshchei patologii. Moscow, 1954.
Izbr. soch. Moscow, 1958.


Lushnikov, A. G. I. E. Diad’kovskii i klinika vnutrennikh boleznei pervoi poloviny XIX veka. Moscow, 1953.
Mikulinskii, S. R. /. E. Diad’kovskii. 1784–1841: Mirovozzrenie i obshchebiologicheskie vzgliady. Moscow, 1951. (Contains a bibliography.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.