In Memory of Lester E. Embree
Gurwitsch is the philosopher of consciousness par excellence. This paper presents a systematic exposition of Aron Gurwitsch’s main contribution to phenomenology, namely his theory of the ‘field of consciousness’ with its a priori structure of theme, thematic field, margin (halo and horizon). I present Gurwitsch as an orthodox defender of Husserlian descriptive phenomenology, albeit one who rejected Husserl’s reduction to the transcendental ego and Husserl’s overt idealism. He maintained with Husserl the priority of consciousness as the source of all meaning and validity but he rejected Husserl’s transcendental idealism in favour of a ‘levels of existence’ approach. Gurwitsch’s project was to show the continuity between Gestalt psychology (stripped of its naturalism) and Husserlian eidetics. I explain his concepts of theme, thematic field, margin and horizon as a consistent development of Husserlian thought. I conclude by claiming that neither Gurwitsch nor Husserl fully appreciate how the horizons of an entity can support radical novelty and the application of entirely new contexts.
A Descriptive Phenomenological Analysis of Disturbances in Maternal Affection
Idun Røseth and Rob Bongaardt
Many new mothers question the nature of their motherly love after birth. This affectionate relationship towards the infant is commonly called bonding in everyday speech, clinical practice and research. Bonding may not sufficiently describe the mother’s emotional response to the infant and does not capture the ambivalence and struggle to develop maternal affection of many women. This study aims to explore the phenomenon of disturbed maternal affection through the clinical case of one mother who experienced severe and prolonged disturbances. Two in-depth interviews led to a descriptive phenomenological analysis. The mother developed depressive symptoms from not feeling enough for her child, not the opposite, as is often hypothesized. We describe and discuss crucial constituents of her experience, such as ambivalence, remoteness, boredom, guilt, and the looming repetition of parenting patterns, and a solution resulting from therapy-enhanced reflection on motherhood vis-à-vis early life patterns, sociocultural expectations and existential predicaments.
This article provides concrete examples of a phenomenological approach to empathy training, which is a pedagogical method designed for higher education. First, the phenomenology of empathy and empathy training is briefly described. Second, excerpts from training sessions in higher education are provided as examples. The examples are meant as to concretize the purpose of the training in relation to the overall pedagogical process. In addition, some clarifications are made about how a phenomenological approach can facilitate university students’ deeper understanding of how empathy relate to interpersonal understanding in the we-relation.
A Phenomenological Analysis of the Interpersonal Motives and Structure of Shame
This article develops a new phenomenological analysis of the interpersonal motives and structure of shame. I pursue the argument that shame is rooted in our desire for social affirmation and conditioned by our ability to see ourselves as we appear to others. My central thesis is that shame is what we feel when, due to some trait or action of ours, we come to perceive ourselves as fundamentally despicable and non-affirmable. By showing how our urge for affirmation fuels and informs our self-perception in shame, the analysis provides a better understanding of the simultaneously interpersonal and personal character of shame. Furthermore, it sheds new light on some central aspects of shame that have been insufficiently understood: on the emotional charge and quality of shame, on the role played by our values and identity in shame, and on the continuity, differences, and transfers between personal shame, social shame, and embarrassment.
The global city order has been changed and reconstructed during the past two decades by the rising of global or globalizing cities in developing and emerging economies in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This transition has been dominated by the current global city label with reference to the prime and paradigmatic cases and hegemonic and monopolistic measures from the North. However, achieving a general set of uniform and convergent results is a barren probability, and has led to the underestimation of the local contexts, implications and probabilities. So, it will be challenging to explore the evidence of the globalization of cities in developing countries, and to explain the concepts and meanings of the global positions and functions for their vision and development. Therefore, it is necessary to focus on the neglected realities and pathways for reconceptualizing the global city theory by shift from the Global North to the Global South.