In this article, we develop a new approach to integrating philosophical phenomenology with qualitative research. The approach uses phenomenology’s concepts, namely existentials, rather than methods such as the epoché or reductions. We here introduce the approach to both philosophers and qualitative researchers, as we believe that these studies are best conducted through interdisciplinary collaboration. In section 1, we review the debate over phenomenology’s role in qualitative research and argue that qualitative theorists have not taken full advantage of what philosophical phenomenology (...) has to offer, thus motivating the need for new approaches. In section 2, we introduce our alternative approach, which we call Phenomenologically Grounded Qualitative Research (PGQR). Drawing parallels with phenomenology’s applications in the cognitive sciences, we explain how phenomenological grounding can be used to conceptually front-load a qualitative study, establishing an explicit focus on one or more structures of human existence, or of our being in the world. In section 3, we illustrate this approach with an example of a qualitative study carried out by one of the authors: a study of the existential impact of early parental bereavement. In section 4, we clarify the kind of knowledge that phenomenologically grounded studies generate and how it may be integrated with existing approaches. (shrink)
Phenomenology has been adapted for use in qualitative health research, where it’s often used as a method for conducting interviews and analyzing interview data. But how can phenomenologists study subjects who cannot accurately reflect upon or report their own experiences, for instance, because of a psychiatric or neurological disorder? For conditions like these, qualitative researchers may gain more insight by conducting observational studies in lieu of, or in conjunction with, interviews. In this article, we introduce a phenomenological approach to conducting (...) this kind of observational research. The approach relies on conceptual grounding to focus a study on specific aspects of the participants’ experiences. Moreover, the approach maintains the openness to novel discoveries that qualitative research requires while also providing a structured framework for data collection and analysis. To illustrate its practical application, we use examples of hemispatial neglect—a neurologic disorder in which patients characteristically lack awareness of their own illness and bodily capacities. However, the approach that we describe can be applied more broadly to the study of complex illness experiences and other experiential alterations. (shrink)
This handbook is currently in development, with individual articles publishing online in advance of print publication. At this time, we cannot add information about unpublished articles in this handbook, however the table of contents will continue to grow as additional articles pass through the review process and are added to the site. Please note that the online publication date for this handbook is the date that the first article in the title was published online.
Empathy is a topic of continuous debate in the nursing literature. Many argue that empathy is indispensable to effective nursing practice. Yet others argue that nurses should rather rely on sympathy, compassion, or consolation. However, a more troubling disagreement underlies these debates: There’s no consensus on how to define empathy. This lack of consensus is the primary obstacle to a constructive debate over the role and import of empathy in nursing practice. The solution to this problem seems obvious: Nurses need (...) to reach a consensus on the meaning and definition of empathy. But this is easier said than done. Concept analyses, for instance, reveal a profound ambiguity and heterogeneity of the concept of empathy across the nursing literature. Since the term “empathy” is used to refer to a range of perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral phenomena, the presence of a conceptual ambiguity and heterogeneity is hardly surprising. Our proposal is simple. To move forward, we need to return to the basics. We should develop the concept from the ground up. That is, we should begin by identifying and describing the most fundamental form of empathic experience. Once we identify the most fundamental form of empathy, we will be able to distinguish among the more derivative experiences and behaviors that are addressed by the same name and, ideally, determine the place of these phenomena in the field of nursing. The aim of this article is, consequently, to lay the groundwork for a more coherent concept of empathy and thereby for a more fruitful debate over the role of empathy in nursing. In Part 1, we outline the history of the concept of empathy within nursing, explain why nurses are sometimes warry of adapting concepts from other disciplines, and argue that nurses should distinguish between adapting concepts from applied disciplines and from more theoretical disciplines. In Part 2, we show that the distinction between emotional and cognitive empathy—borrowed from theoretical psychology—has been a major factor in nurses’ negative attitudes toward emotional empathy. We argue, however, that both concepts fail to capture the most fundamental form of empathy. In Part 3, we draw on and present some of the seminal studies of empathy that can be found in the work of phenomenological philosophers including Max Scheler, Edmund Husserl, and Edith Stein. In Part 4, we outline how their understanding of empathy may facilitate current debates about empathy’s role in nursing. (shrink)
In this essay I address the question, “What is the subject matter of phenomenological research?” I argue that in spite of the increasing popularity of phenomenology, the answers to this question have been brief and cursory. As a result, contemporary phenomenologists lack a clear framework within which to articulate the aims and results of their research, and cannot easily engage each other in constructive and critical discourse. Examining the literature on phenomenology’s identity, I show how the question of phenomenology’s subject (...) matter has been systematically neglected. It has been overshadowed by an unending concern with phenomenology’s methodological identity. However, an examination of recent contributions to this literature reveals that a concern with articulating phenomenology’s subject matter has gradually increased, although such articulations remain preliminary. In light of this, I delineate, define, and illustrate three layers of phenomenological research, which I term “existentials,” “modes,” and “prejudices.” While the delineation of these layers is drawn primarily from classical phenomenological texts, they are defined and illustrated through the use of more contemporary literature. Following the articulation of this subject matter, I briefly consider some of the debates—both foundational and applied—that can be facilitated by the adoption of this framework. (shrink)
In this paper I offer an alternative phenomenological account of depression as consisting of a degradation of the degree to which one is situated in and attuned to the world. This account contrasts with recent accounts of depression offered by Matthew Ratcliffe and others. Ratcliffe develops an account in which depression is understood in terms of deep moods, or existential feelings, such as guilt or hopelessness. Such moods are capable of limiting the kinds of significance and meaning that one can (...) come across in the world. I argue that Ratcliffe’s account is unnecessarily constrained, making sense of the experience of depression by appealing only to changes in the mode of human existence. Drawing on Merleau-Ponty’s critique of traditional transcendental phenomenology, I show that many cases of severe psychiatric disorders are best understood as changes in the very structure of human existence, rather than changes in the mode of human existence. Working in this vein, I argue that we can make better sense of many first-person reports of the experience of depression by appealing to a loss or degradation of the degree to which one is situated in and attuned to the world, rather than attempting to make sense of depression as a particular mode of being situated and attuned. Finally, I argue that drawing distinctions between disorders of structure and mode will allow us to improve upon the currently heterogeneous categories of disorder offered in the DSM-5. (shrink)
Contemporary psychiatry finds itself in the midst of a crisis of classification. The developments begun in the 1980s—with the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders —successfully increased inter-rater reliability. However, these developments have done little to increase the predictive validity of our categories of disorder. A diagnosis based on DSM categories and criteria often fails to accurately anticipate course of illness or treatment response. In addition, there is little evidence that the DSM categories link up (...) with genetic findings, and even less evidence that they... (shrink)
“On the Subject Matter of Phenomenological Psychopathology” provides a framework for the phenomenological study of mental disorders. The framework relies on a distinction between (ontological) existentials and (ontic) modes. Existentials are the categorial structures of human existence, such as intentionality, temporality, selfhood, and affective situatedness. Modes are the particular, concrete phenomena that belong to these categorial structures, with each existential having its own set of modes. In the first section, we articulate this distinction by drawing primarily on the work of (...) Martin Heidegger—especially his study of the ontological structure of affective situatedness (Befindlichkeit) and its particular, ontic modes, which he calls moods (Stimmungen). In the second section, we draw on a study of grief to demonstrate how this framework can be used when conducting phenomenological interviews and analyses. In the concluding section, we explain how this framework can be guide phenomenological studies across a broad range of existential structures. (shrink)
Currently, anomalous lived temporality is not included in the main diagnostic criteria or standard symptom checklists. In this article, we present the Transdiagnostic Assessment of Temporal Experience, a structured interview that can be used by researchers and clinicians without a comprehensive phenomenological background to explore abnormal time experiences in persons with abnormal mental conditions regardless of their diagnosis. When extensive data gathered by this scale are available, it will be possible to delineate well-defined anomalous lived temporality profiles for each psychopathological (...) disorder. This instrument may also prove useful for clinicians by providing a more refined assessment of relevant psychopathological symptoms and an in-depth understanding of the patient’s abnormal behaviour as related to specific types of time experience. In the first part of the article, we provide a brief overview of the phenomenological concept of temporality, including pre-phenomenal and phenomenal time, synthesis, conation and synchronization, and of abnormal time experiences in persons affected by psychopathological conditions. In the following part, we describe the basic structure of the interview that comprises seven categories corresponding to the abnormal features of lived temporality: anomalies of synchrony, of time structure, of implicit time flow, of explicit time flow, and anomalous experiences of the past, the present and the future. The paper also includes a section on administration and scoring of the TATE scale, the complete interview and a Likert table for quantifying the frequency, intensity and interference with daily life of the phenomena explored. (shrink)
Psychiatry has witnessed a new wave of approaches to clinical phenotyping and the study of psychopathology, including the National Institute of Mental Health’s Research Domain Criteria, clinical staging, network approaches, the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology, and the general psychopathology factor, as well as a revival of interest in phenomenological psychopathology. The question naturally emerges as to what the relationship between these new approaches is – are they mutually exclusive, competing approaches, or can they be integrated in some way and used (...) to enrich each other? In this opinion piece, we propose a possible integration between clinical staging and phenomenological psychopathology. Domains identified in phenomenological psychopathology, such as selfhood, embodiment, affectivity, etc., can be overlaid on clinical stages in order to enrich and deepen the phenotypes captured in clinical staging (‘high resolution’ clinical phenotypes). This approach may be useful both ideographically and nomothetically, in that it could complement diagnosis, enrich clinical formulation, and inform treatment of individual patients, as well as help guide aetiological, prediction, and treatment research. The overlaying of phenomenological domains on clinical stages may require that these domains are reformulated in dimensional rather than categorial terms. This integrative project requires assessment tools, some of which are already available, that are sensitive and thorough enough to pick up on the range of relevant psychopathology. The proposed approach offers opportunities for mutual enrichment: clinical staging may be enriched by introducing greater depth to phenotypes; phenomenological psychopathology may be enriched by introducing stages of severity and disorder progression to phenomenological analysis. (shrink)
This chapter provides an overview of how existential phenomenology has influenced qualitative research methods across a range of disciplines across the social, health, educational, and psychological sciences. It focuses specifically on how the concepts of “existential structures,” or “existentials”—such as selfhood, temporality, spatiality, affectivity, and embodiment—have been used in qualitative research. After providing a brief introduction to what qualitative research is and why philosophers should be interested in it, the chapter provides clear, straightforward examples of how qualitative researchers have used (...) existentials to analyze qualitative data and design qualitative studies. The chapter is intended to introduce philosophers to existential approaches to phenomenological qualitative research, with the aim of facilitating interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration. (shrink)
Aims and Objectives. This article uses the concept of embodiment to demonstrate a conceptual approach to applied phenomenology. -/- Background. Traditionally, qualitative researchers and healthcare professionals have been taught phenomenological methods, such as the epoché, reduction, or bracketing. These methods are typically construed as a way of avoiding biases so that one may attend to the phenomena in an open and unprejudiced way. However, it has also been argued that qualitative researchers and healthcare professionals can benefit from phenomenology’s well-articulated theoretical (...) framework, which consists of core concepts, such as selfhood, empathy, temporality, spatiality, affectivity, and embodiment. -/- Design. This is a discursive article that demonstrates a conceptual approach to applied phenomenology. -/- Method. To outline and explain this approach to applied phenomenology, the Discussion section walks the reader through four stages of phenomenology, which progress incrementally from the most theoretical to the most practical. -/- Discussion. Part one introduces the philosophical concept of embodiment, which can be applied broadly to any human subject. Part two shows how philosophically trained phenomenologists use the concept of embodiment to describe general features of illness and disability. Part three illustrates how the phenomenological concept of embodiment can inform empirical qualitative studies and reflects on the challenges of integrating philosophy and qualitative research. Part four turns to phenomenology’s application in clinical practice and outlines a workshop model that guides clinicians through the process of using phenomenological concepts to better understand patient experience. -/- Conclusion and Relevance to Clinical Practice. A conceptual approach to applied phenomenology provides a valuable alternative to traditional methodological approaches. Phenomenological concepts provide a foundation for better understanding patient experience in both qualitative health research and clinical practice, and therefore provide resources for enhancing patient care. (shrink)
In this chapter, we explain how Karl Jaspers’ concept of empathy can be expanded by drawing upon the tradition of philosophical phenomenology. In the first section, we offer an account of Jaspers' concepts of empathy and incomprehensibility as he develops them in General Psychopathology and “The Phenomenological Approach in Psychopathology.” In the second section, we survey the recent literature on overcoming Jaspers' notion of incomprehensibility and expanding his concept of empathy. In the third section, we outline the levels of investigation (...) at which phenomenological inquiries into psychopathology may proceed. These levels of human existence are, in descending order of depth, (1) phenomenal experiences, (2) interpretive frameworks, (3) modes of existence, and (4) existentials. In the fourth and final section, we argue that to fully empathically comprehend patients with schizophrenia and other mental disorders, the possibility of alterations at all four levels of existence must be acknowledged. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that phenomenological psychopathologists, despite their critical attitude toward mainstream psychiatry, still hold problematic prejudices about the nature of psychiatric conditions as illness or disorder. I suggest that phenomenological psychopathologists turn to resources in the neurodiversity and mad pride movements to critically reflect upon these prejudices and appreciate the methodological problems that they pose.
In this chapter, I provide an overview of phenomenological approaches to psychiatric classification. My aim is to encourage and facilitate philosophical debate over the best ways to classify psychiatric disorders. First, I articulate phenomenological critiques of the dominant approach to classification and diagnosis—i.e., the operational approach employed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). Second, I describe the type or typification approach to psychiatric classification, which I distinguish into three different (...) versions: ideal types, essential types, and prototypes. I argue that despite their occasional conflation in the contemporary literature, there are important distinctions among these approaches. Third, I outline a new phenomenological-dimensional approach. I show how this approach, which starts from basic dimensions of human existence, allows us to investigate the full range of psychopathological conditions without accepting the validity of current diagnostic categories. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine recent phenomenological research on both depressive and manic episodes, with the intention of showing how phenomenologically oriented studies can help us overcome the apparently paradoxical nature of mixed states. First, I argue that some of the symptoms included in the diagnostic criteria for depressive and manic episodes in the DSM-5 are not actually essential features of these episodes. Second, I reconsider the category of major depressive disorder (MDD) from the perspective of phenomenological psychopathology, arguing that (...) severe depressive episodes should not be characterized by any particular moods (such as sadness, hopelessness, or guilt), and should instead be characterized by a diminished capacity for finding ourselves situated in and attuned to the world at all. In other words, the affective dimension of depression should be characterized as a change in the way we have moods, not as a change from one kind of mood to another. Third, I turn to mania, arguing that manic episodes, taken as the opposite of depressive episodes, should be characterized not by any particular moods (such as euphoria, grandiosity, or even irritability), but should instead be characterized by an enhanced or heightened capacity for finding ourselves situated in and attuned to the world. In other words, the affective dimension of mania, like the affective dimension of depression, should be understood as a change in the way we have moods, not as a change from one kind of mood to another. Fourth, I return to the phenomenon of mixed states and argue that the affective dimension of depression and mania, when conceived along the phenomenological lines I set forth in the previous sections, dissolves the paradox of mixed states by showing that the essential characteristics of depression and mania cannot and do not coincide. Many cases of mixed states are diagnosed because moods that we take to be essential features of either depression or mania arise within the context of what is considered to be the opposite kind of episode (e.g. dysphoria, typically associated with depression, often arises in what is otherwise considered a manic state). However, if we conceive of the affective dimension of depression as a decrease in the degree to which one is situated in and attune to the world through moods, and the affective dimension of mania as an increase in the degree to which one is situated in and attuned to the world through moods, then the particular mood one finds oneself in is simply irrelevant to the diagnosis of either depression or mania. As a result, the manifestation of any particular moods in what otherwise seems to be a pure manic or depressive episode does not constitute a mixed state. (shrink)
ABSTRACT The proper relationship between phenomenology and naturalism has reemerged as a pressing issue following interdisciplinary developments in the cognitive sciences. Most solutions opt for a naturalized phenomenology, rather than a phenomenological naturalism. This article takes up the latter approach, confronting the implications of Merleau-Ponty's reformulation of Husserl's paradox of subjectivity. I argue that Merleau-Ponty's formulation—which I term “the paradox of madness”—reveals a deep, ontological contingency in what Husserl took to be necessary transcendental structures of consciousness and world, revealing that (...) these transcendental structures are in fact embedded in and contaminated by the very world they constitute and disclose. (shrink)
The aim of the article is to introduce a new concept of “pain-related bodily doubt,” which complements current concepts currently in use, such as pain-related fear, pain catastrophizing, and pain self-efficacy. This new concept, adapted from recent philosophical work on illness experience, has the potential to positively contribute to pain research and clinical practice by providing a vocabulary for clinicians and patients to discuss implicit or tacit dimensions of pain-related experiences.
This is a commentary on Humpston, C. S. (2022). “Isolated by Oneself: Ontologically Impossible Experiences in Schizophrenia.” Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology 29(1), 5–15. It is published with an additional commentary by H. Green and Humpston’s response.
Recently, there have been calls to develop a more contextual approach to phenomenological psychopathology—an approach that attends to the socio-cultural as well as personal and biographical factors that shape experiences of mental illness. In this Perspective article, we argue that to develop this contextual approach, phenomenological psychopathology should adopt a new paradigm case. For decades, schizophrenia has served as the paradigmatic example of a condition that can be better understood through phenomenological investigation. And recent calls for a contextual approach continue (...) to use schizophrenia as their primary example. We argue, in contrast, that substance misuse provides a better paradigm case around which to develop a contextually sensitive phenomenological psychopathology. After providing a brief vignette and analysis of a case of substance misuse, we explain why this kind of condition requires considerable sensitivity and attention to context, better motivating the incorporation and development of new contextually sensitive approaches. (shrink)
Somogy Varga's criticisms and questions provide me with a welcome opportunity to clarify some key elements of my proposal. First, I briefly summarize my motivation and original proposal for a phenomenological–dimensional research program. Second, I address Varga's two challenges. Each challenge highlights an element of my proposal that was underdeveloped in the original article. I therefore provide a brief clarification of my proposal before responding directly to Varga's two challenges.My proposal is to shift phenomenological psychopathology toward a broadly dimensional, rather (...) than categorial, research program. This approach will allow phenomenologists to operate outside the constraints of... (shrink)
In this chapter, I introduce phenomenology and phenomenological psychopathology by clarifying the kind of implicit experiences that phenomenologists are concerned with. In section one, I introduce the phenomenological concept of pre-reflective experience, focusing especially on its relation to the concept of implicit experience. In section two, I introduce the structure of pre-reflective self-consciousness, which has been studied extensively by both classical phenomenologists and contemporary phenomenological psychopathologists. In section three, I show how phenomenological psychopathologists rely on an account of pre-reflective self-consciousness (...) to better understand the experience of schizophrenia and I outline some of the methodological challenges that arise in this field of research. This introduction should facilitate critical engagement and collaboration between phenomenologists and researchers working across a variety of disciplines, including psychology, psychiatry, the cognitive sciences, and analytic philosophy of mind. (shrink)
Today, many philosophers write on topics of contemporary interest, such as emerging technologies, scientific advancements, or major political events. However, many of these reflections, while philosophically valuable, fail to contribute to those who may benefit the most from them. In this article, we discuss our own experience of engaging with nursing researchers and practicing nurses. By drawing on the field of philosophical phenomenology, we intervene in a longstanding debate over the meaning of “empathy” in nursing, which has important implications for (...) nursing research, training, and practice. However, our intention is not only to introduce and discuss this philosophical intervention. Rather, we present this intervention as a model for how philosophers might successfully engage with the field of nursing, and perhaps with other fields as well, with the aim of effecting positive change in research or practice. The article proceeds in five parts. First, we introduce the problem of conceptual clarity in nursing and explain why many nursing concepts are still in need of refinement. Second, we discuss the origins of the concept of empathy in nursing and outline the challenges associated with borrowing theory from other fields. Third, we explain how nurses tend to conceptualize empathy today, drawing upon the psychological distinction between cognitive and emotional empathy. Fourth, we discuss our intervention in this debate and explain how we attempt to resolve existing conceptual confusions by developing the concept of empathy from the ground up. Fifth, we conclude by briefly reflecting upon some of the challenges of interdisciplinary engagement and providing some recommendations based upon our own experience. (shrink)
This dissertation is a contribution to the contemporary field of phenomenological psychopathology, or the phenomenological study of psychiatric disorders. The work proceeds with two major aims. The first is to show how a phenomenological approach can clarify and illuminate the nature of psychopathology—specifically those conditions typically labeled as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. The second is to show how engaging with psychopathological conditions can challenge and undermine many phenomenological presuppositions, especially phenomenology’s status as a transcendental philosophy and its corresponding (...) anti-naturalistic outlook. In the opening chapter, I articulate the three layers of the subject matter of phenomenological research—what I refer to as “existentials,” “modes,” and “prejudices.” As I argue, while each layer contributes to what we might call the “structure” of human existence, they do not do so in the same way, or to the same degree. Because phenomenological psychopathology—and applied phenomenology in general—aims to characterize how the structure of human existence can change and alter, it is paramount that these layers be adequately delineated and defined before investigating these changes. In chapters two through five, I conduct hermeneutic and phenomenological investigations of psychopathological phenomena typically labeled as major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder. These investigations address the affective aspects of depression and mania, and the embodied aspects of depression. In addition to clearly articulating the nature of these phenomena, I show how certain psychopathological conditions involve changes in the deepest or most fundamental layer of human existence—what I refer to as existentials. As I argue, many of the classical phenomenologists (including Husserl and Heidegger) believed that these structural features were necessary, unchanging, and universal. However, this presupposition is challenged through the examination of psychopathological and neuropathological conditions, undermining the status of phenomenology as a transcendental philosophy. While this challenge to classical phenomenology is only sketched in the early chapters, in chapters six and seven I develop it in more detail in order to achieve two distinct ends. In chapter six I argue that psychopathology and neuropathology not only challenge phenomenology’s status as a transcendental philosophy, but also supply a key to developing a phenomenological naturalism (which I contrast with a naturalized phenomenology). Phenomenological naturalism, as I articulate it, is a position in which phenomenology is not subsumed by the metaphysical and methodological framework of the natural sciences, but nonetheless maintains the capacity to investigate how the natural world stands independent of human subjectivity (and how events in the natural world can bring about changes in the most fundamental structures of human existence). In the seventh chapter I argue that a phenomenology in which existentials are contingent and variable rather than necessary and unchanging allows phenomenologists to contribute to new dimensional approaches to psychiatric classification. Rather than begin from distinct categories of disorder, these approaches begin from distinct core features of human existence. These features, referred to as either dimensions or constructs, can vary in degree and are studied in both normal and pathological forms. (shrink)
Martin Heidegger (1889–1976) is one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century. His influence, however, extends beyond philosophy. His account of Dasein, or human existence, permeates the human and social sciences, including nursing, psychiatry, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and artificial intelligence. In this chapter, I outline Heidegger’s influence on psychiatry and psychology, focusing especially on his relationships with the Swiss psychiatrists Ludwig Binswanger and Medard Boss. The first section outlines Heidegger’s early life and work, up to and including the (...) publication of Being and Time, in which he develops his famous concept of being-in-the-world. The second section focuses on Heidegger’s initial influence on psychiatry via Binswanger’s founding of Daseinsanalysis, a Heideggerian approach to psychopathology and psychotherapy. The third section turns to Heidegger’s relationship with Boss, including Heidegger’s rejection of Binswanger’s Daseinsanalysis and his lectures at Boss’s home in Zollikon, Switzerland. (shrink)
In this paper I examine the ways in which our language and terminology predetermine how we approach, investigate and conceptualise mental illness. I address this issue from the standpoint of hermeneutic phenomenology, and my primary object of investigation is the phenomenon referred to as “mania”. Drawing on resources from classical phenomenology, I show how phenomenologists attempt to overcome their latent presuppositions and prejudices in order to approach “the matters themselves”. In other words, phenomenologists are committed to the idea that in (...) our everyday, natural attitude, we take for granted a number of prejudices and presuppositions that predetermine how we conceive of and understand what we experience. In order to properly approach the phenomena themselves, we need to find ways of neutralising our presuppositions and prejudices in order to develop new (and hopefully more accurate) accounts of the phenomena under investigation. One of the most popular examples of such an attempt at neutralisation is what Edmund Husserl calls the epoché, which is the practice of bracketing out or suspending presuppositions. However, later phenomenologists developed alternative approaches. Martin Heidegger, for instance, engaged in etymological analyses to discover latent meanings in our language and terminology. Hans-Georg Gadamer also engaged in historical analyses of how our traditions sediment into latent prejudices. After discussing the various ways in which phenomenologists have attempted to neutralise presuppositions and prejudices prior to engaging in their investigations, I apply some of these principles and methods to the domain of psychopathology, and discuss some of the prejudices inherent in contemporary discussions of the phenomenon of mania. I examine recent attempts to link the phenomenon that we today refer to as “mania” with the ancient Greek concept of “μανία” (mania), and argue that the practice of linking contemporary and historical concepts can be detrimental to attempts at reclassifying disorders. In addition, I consider the implications of the shift in terminology from “manic depressive illness” to “bipolar disorder” – especially how conceiving of mania as one of two “poles” predetermines its description by both clinicians and patients. Finally, I address the implications of the headings under which mania and bipolar disorder are discussed within diagnostic manuals. For example, I discuss the removal of the headings of affective and mood disorders in the DSM-5, and the explicit decision by the authors to place bipolar disorder between depressive disorders and schizophrenia. What I aim to accomplish in this paper is not so much a phenomenological investigation of mania as it is a pre-phenomenological investigation. In other words, I offer a preparatory investigation of the phenomenon (or phenomena) referred to as “mania” in contemporary discourse, with the intention of laying the groundwork for further phenomenological and psychological research. (shrink)
In this article I offer a critical analysis and evaluation of Thomas Fuchs' concept of corporealization, as well as the Leib/Körper distinction (i.e. the distinction between the lived and corporeal body) that it is founded upon. First, I show that the foundational concepts -- Leib and Körper -- are problematically heterogeneous, each including a diverse set of phenomena requiring further delineation and clarification. Second, I consider the historical origins of this heterogeneity and ambiguity within Fuchs' work. I show that Fuchs' (...) Leib/Korper distinction, while owing more to Plessner than Merleau-Ponty, is to a great extent his own development. Third, I delineate five senses of the body, or of embodiment. These senses of the body are meant to (1) clarify the diverse phenomena included under Fuchs' label of corporealization and (2) offer examples of features of embodiment that challenge Fuchs' Leib/Körper polarity. Fourth, I argue that the concepts of Leib, Körper, and corporealization will need to be more rigorously defined before they can adequately illuminate the phenomena to which they are applied. (shrink)
The community of psychiatrists and psychologists in early twentieth century Europe cultivated a strong interest in the phenomenologically informed accounts of human existence offered by Heidegger. The psychiatrists, Binswanger (1968) and Boss (1957/1963; 1970/1979), developed personal relationships with Heidegger, and while Heidegger ultimately rejected Binswanger’s work, Boss worked closely with him throughout his life in order to keep his own work on a sound phenomenological footing. This interest in phenomenologically informed psychological practice and theory continued into the latter half of (...) the twentieth century with psychiatrists and psychologists such as Erwin Straus, Eugene Minkowski, Hubertus Tellenbach, and Rollo May.Today this tradition is continued by a number of psychiatrists, psychologists, and philosophers, including Thomas Fuchs, Matthew Ratcliffe, Giovanni Stanghellini, and Robert Stolorow. However, Robert Stolorow’s contributions to this movement are distinctive for. (shrink)