Implicit Imagination in Pathology: Phenomenology in the Abnormal World (thesis)
After briefly elucidating, in more detail, the nature of phenomenology and its use in providing a description of the ‘normal’ individual’s being-in-the-world, my aims in this project are threefold: (1) To illuminate the need for a phenomenological model as part of a theory for mental illness, (2) To provide an account of the real and the imaginary in order to illustrate the blurring of the two entities in what we have come to term ‘normal existence’, and (3) To provide a phenomenological account of schizophrenia as a disorder of the imagination and to illuminate how schizophrenia may be construed as a philosophical tool. Ultimately I will argue that phenomenology is needed to provide a holistic account of mental illness and the experience of being-in-the-world of the disordered subject. I will also claim that the symptoms of schizophrenia result from a shift in an individual’s state of being-in-the-world, such that their capacity to use imagination to appreciate the ambiguous and fluid nature of what is considered to be ‘real’ is diminished. Finally, I will claim that, because this radical change in the subject’s relation to the world provides a hyper-reflective perspective that the ‘normal’ individual cannot achieve within the constraints of their own subject-world framework, the schizophrenic condition may be likened to Husserl’ and Merleau-Ponty’s description of the full phenomenological reduction. [Taken from the Preface]
Thesis; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]Reilly Lilianna Kidwell is a member of the Class of 2013 of Washington and Lee University.