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Over the course of the centuries the meanings around mental illness have shifted many times according to societal beliefs and the political atmosphere of the day. The way madness is defined has far reaching effects on those who have a mental disorder, and determines how they are treated by the professionals responsible for their care, and the society of which they are a part. Although madness as mental illness seems to be the dominant Western view of madness, it is by no means the only view of what it means to be ‘mad’. The symptoms of madness or mental illness occur in all cultures of the world, but have different meanings in different social and cultural contexts. Evidence suggests that meanings of mental illness have a significant impact on subjective experience; the idioms used in the expression thereof, indigenous treatments, and subsequent outcomes. Thus, the societal understandings of madness are central to the problem of mental illness and those with the lived experience can lead the process of reconstructing this meaning.
Its Propagations, Perimeters & Potentialities
Editors: Rebeccah Nelems and Nic Theo
Popular interest in empathy has surged in the past two decades. Research on its origins, uses and development is on the rise, and empathy is increasingly referenced across a wide range of sectors – from business to education. While there is widespread consensus about the value of empathy, however, its supposed stable nature and offerings remain insufficiently examined. By critically exploring different perspectives and aspects of empathy in distinct contexts, Exploring Empathy aims to generate deeper reflection about what is at stake in discussions and practices of empathy in the 21st century. Ten contributors representing seven disciplines and five world regions contribute to this dialogical volume about empathy, its offerings, limitations and potentialities for society. By deepening our understanding of empathy in all its complexity, this volume broadens the debate about both the role of empathy in society, and effective ways to invoke it for the benefit of all.
Volume Editor: Angelique Richardson
‘What is emotion?’ pondered the young Charles Darwin in his notebooks. How were the emotions to be placed in an evolutionary framework? And what light might they shed on human-animal continuities? These were among the questions Darwin explored in his research, assisted both by an acute sense of observation and an extraordinary capacity for fellow feeling, not only with humans but with all animal life. After Darwin: Animals, Emotions, and the Mind explores questions of mind, emotion and the moral sense which Darwin opened up through his research on the physical expression of emotions and the human–animal relation. It also examines the extent to which Darwin’s ideas were taken up by Victorian writers and popular culture, from George Eliot to the Daily News. Bringing together scholars from biology, literature, history, psychology, psychiatry and paediatrics, the volume provides an invaluable reassessment of Darwin’s contribution to a new understanding of the moral sense and emotional life, and considers the urgent scientific and ethical implications of his ideas today.
Author: Joel Pearl
In A Question of Time, Joel Pearl offers a new reading of the foundations of psychoanalytic thought, indicating the presence of an essential lacuna that has been integral to psychoanalysis since its inception. Pearl returns to the moment in which psychoanalysis was born, demonstrating how Freud had overlooked one of the most principal issues pertinent to his method: the question of time. The book shows that it is no coincidence that Freud had never methodically and thoroughly discussed time and that the metaphysical assumption of linear time lies at the very heart of Freudian psychoanalysis. Pearl’s critical reading of Freud develops through an original dialogue that he creates with the philosophy of Martin Heidegger and, specifically, with the German philosopher’s notion of temporality. Pearl traces the encounter between Freud and Heidegger by observing the common inspiration shaping their thinking: philosopher Franz Brentano, who taught both Freud and Edmund Husserl, Heidegger’s mentor. The book travels down an alternate path, one overlooked by Freudian thought – a path leading from Brentano, through Husserl and onto Heidegger’s notion of time, which is founded on the ecstatic’ interrelation of past, present and future.
Analytic and Applied Perspectives
Volume Editors: Pekka Mäkelä and Cynthia Townley
“Whatever matters to human beings, trust is the atmosphere in which it thrives” writes Sissela Bok. Although trust is ubiquitous, understanding trust is a non-trivial challenge. Trust: Analytic and Applied Perspectives addresses critical and analytical issues of trust. It examines trust from a conceptual perspective as well as considers it in practical contexts ranging from the public sphere broadly understood to particular social institutions, such as universities and medical care. Trust: Analytic and Applied Perspectives explores what kind of good trust is, what kind of goods it can protect and how it can bring about goods, and develops subtle distinctions between trust and other virtues, and between trust and other forms of dependence. The pluralism of the volume reflects the diversity of the real world contexts and theoretical perspectives indispensable in the search of a deeper understanding of trust. Without such an understanding of the nature of trust and the good reasons why people might trust one another or the institutions, we are in danger of designing institutions that will reduce trust or even drive it out. Trust: Analytic and Applied Perspectives sheds new light on the intersecting dimensions of our social cooperation, in which trust can be responsibly undertaken.
This special issue of Grazer Philosophische Studien brings together a number of carefully selected and timely articles that explore the discussion of different facets of self-consciousness from multiple perspectives. The selected articles mainly focus on three topics of the current debate: (1) the relationship between conceptual and nonconceptual ways of self-representation; (2) the role of intersubjectivity for the development of self-consciousness; (3) the temporal structure of self-consciousness. A number of previously underexposed, yet important connections between different approaches are explored. The articles not only represent the state of the art in their respective areas of research and make new insights available, but also provide an overview of different methodologies: ranging from philosophy of language and mind to phenomenology and cognitive science. The volume is of interest for philosophers, cognitive scientists and researchers in related disciplines who are concerned with investigating the nature and origin of self-consciousness.
This book proposes a new approach to the problem of aesthetic experience in Western culture. Noting how art world phenomena evoke conventional psychoanalytic speculations about narcissism, the authors turn the tables and “apply” aesthetic questions and concerns to psychoanalytic theory. Experimenting with Freudian and post-Freudian concepts, they propose a non-normative theory of the psychic drive to address and embrace deep tensions in the post-Renaissance aesthetic project, the rise of modernism, and the contemporary art world. It is argued that these tensions reflect central conflicts in the development of patriarchal civilization, which the emergence of the aesthetic domain, as a specialized range of practice, exposes and subverts. The postmodern era of aesthetic reflection is interpreted as the outcome of a complex narcissistic dialectic of idealization and de-idealization that is significant for the understanding of contemporary culture and its historical prospects.
Pain studies, both in exact sciences and in the humanities, are a fast-shifting field. This volume condenses a spectrum of recent views of pain through the lens of humanistic studies. Methodologically, the volume is an interdisciplinary study of the questions pertaining to the accessibility of pain (physical or emotional) to understanding and of the possible influence of suffering on the enhancement of knowledge in private experience or public sphere.
Undeterred by the widespread belief that pain cannot be expressed in language and that it is intransmissible to others, the authors of the essays in the collection show that the replicability of records and narratives of human experience provides a basis for the kind of empathetic attention, dialogue, and contact that can help us to register the pain of another and understand its conditions and contexts. Needless to say, the improvement of this understanding may also help map the ways for the ethics of response to (and help for) pain.
Whereas the authors of the volume tend to share the view of pain as a totally negative phenomenon (the position taken in Elaine Scarry’s The Body in Pain), they hold this view applicable mainly to the attitudes to the pain of others and the imperative of minimise the causes of another’s suffering. They also consider this view to be culturally and temporally circumscribed. The volume suggests that one’s own personal experience of suffering, along with the awareness of the seriality of such experience among fellow sufferers, can be conducive to emotional and intellectual growth. The reading of literature dealing with pain can lead to similar results through vicariously experienced suffering, whose emotional corollaries and intellectual consequences may be conveyed through artistic rather than discursive means.
The distinctive features of the volume are that it processes these issues in a historicising way, deploying the history of the ideas of pain from the Middle Ages to the present day, and that it makes use of the methodology of different disciplines to do so, arriving to similar conclusions through, as it were, different paths. The disciplines include analytic philosophy, historiography, history of science, oral history, literary studies, and political science.
Volume Editors: Nate Hinerman and Julia Apollonia Glahn
This volume offers a selection of articles from authors representing a wide array of disciplines, all of whom explore the following central theme: how can the presence of the dead take life in the hearts of the living? Although individuals die, they can indeed remain “present.” But how? Authors in this volume explicate practical mourning strategies to help survivors cope with the tremendous sadness and emptiness experienced when we lose someone we love.
Author: Luigi Longhin
Society and contemporary culture unquestionably assign much importance to the search for quality. So can this kind of research include the mind? In his analysis, Luigi Longhin examines the causes of mental illness and psychic-mental suffering, the notions of individuality, social violence, and utopia; and he suggests a collaboration between the neurosciences and psychoanalysis, within a correct epistemological approach. The relationship between epistemology and psychoanalysis is examined. The objectivistic and relativistic shift in contemporary epistemology, and the problem of the responsibility of the techno-scientific system are emphasized. Why such a privileged connection with philosophy? The contribution of philosophy is primarily epistemological. However, both epistemology and psychoanalysis run a risk; whilst epistemology runs the risk of being a knowledge which does not know, psychoanalysts run the risk of pursuing scientific knowledge without knowing its foundations. Hence there is a need for collaboration between the two forms of knowledge: the philosophical-epistemological and the scientific-psychoanalytic. Psychoanalysis works in two directions: on the one hand, it tries to eliminate the negative components of the mind, on the other hand, it tries to develop the trusting and creative parts of the self.