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The role of Phenomenology as conceptual basis for the formation of modern psychopathology with special reference to the work of Edmund Husserl and Karl Jaspers. Leroux Brits Introduction This essay serves to observe the progression and systematization of modern psychopathology and in doing so discuss and elucidate the fundamental philosophical components which constituted its progression and formation. Our primary focus will be on the philosophical discipline of phenomenology, as it is evident that it is of great conceptual relevance and influence in the formalisation of psychopathology. Firstly we will look as the subject at a definitive and rudimentary conceptual level and secondly will be looking at Phenomenology historically starting with the work of Edmund Husserl, the father of modern continental phenomenology, and arguably the greatest exponent of the subject. Lastly we will examine the phenomenological work of Karl Jaspers, partially in conjunction with Husserl and then as he used phenomenological principles as a framework to develop a progressive model of psychopathology which is concerned with both causation and meaning in regards to mental disorders. Phenomenology Before we consider the influence and incorporation of phenomenology in psychopathology, it might be beneficial to view it at its classical conceptual level. As when one looks at the disciplines provenance, one will see that it is a highly fluid yet dense subject that is ever-changing in application and content. The sheer quantity and fine variation of interpretations and postulates produced by the classical phenomenologists makes the summarisation or optimisation of the subject arduous at best, thus realistically we shall attempt to briefly permeate the vast corpus and retrieve some understanding of its essence via the exploration of selected facets. The difficulty in the systematisation of Phenomenology can perhaps be attributed to the fact that it is universally applicable, as it is a model of investigation that is applied prior to intellectualisation, irrespective of content or truth regarding the intended object or subject. This leads us to our elementary definition, which Gregory (1987:615) describes as “a term used in philosophy to denote enquiry into one’s conscious and particularly intellectual processes, any preconceptions about external causes and consequences being excluded”. Thus phenomenology refers to the analysis of “conscious experience as experienced (from the first person), analysing the structure- the types, intentional forms and meanings, dynamics, and (certain) enabling conditions- of perception, thought imagination, emotion, volition and action” (Woodruff smith 2013:31). Why Phenomenology and Psychiatry/mental health? Furthermore it may be useful to briefly consider why such a strong interaction and collaboration has come to exist between Phenomenology and aspects of mental health. Both are centralised around the processes which constitutes the human mind. However historically they have differed in the mind body dualism (Woodruff Smith 2013:31), which Ryle in (1949 reprinted 2000:15) epitomised so successfully in saying “It is a necessary feature of what has physical existence that it is in space and time; it is a necessary feature of what has mental existence that it is in time but not in space”. Husserl characterises conscious experience by mental states/acts and intentionality, that is the directionality of conscious experience towards objects. Conversely scientists (Psychiatry) sought out physical systems and empirical methods (pertaining to the mind) “that are characterised by mass and force (neurology), ultimately by gravitational, electromagnetic, and quantum fields” (Woodruff Smith 2013:31). Thus in the 1950’s a naturalistic ontology of mind was pursued. It was suggested in revised materialism that every mental state has an identical neurological state, and they exist in token form in parallel to one another. Later a functional computational model for consciousness was suggested; it presents the idea that the mind is to the brain as software is to hardware (Woodruff Smith 2013:31). A few problems come to light when examining these models at a phenomenological level. The first is that both fail to propose a hypothesis for subjective experience, it is not conveyed how interactions between cortical regions (functional memory /limbic system) might act to ascribe meaning and associations with objects and thus the occurrence of a particular experience or state of mind. The neurological assumption in materialism thus fails to address the premise of phenomenology. It might inform us of what occurs during an experience via for e.g. neural imaging but it fails to denote an insightful theory of causation and meaning. The functional model in utilising the computational analogy does provide us with an adequate rudimentary conceptual grounding from which the mind body dualism can be explored, but does not address some of the higher functioning cognitive processes which gives rise to mental phenomena such as intentionality, meta-cognition and subjective experience in general for e.g. What does it feel like to listen to Rachmaninov or what is like to experience pain? (Woodruff Smith 2013:29). The problem of subjectivity is described by Ryle (1949) as the ghost in the machine, which refers to mental phenomena which escapes current physical theory. Though he suggested that instead of expelling these experiences to the realm of the abstruse or metaphysical due to their unquantifiable nature we should rather adopt an interdisciplinary approach, grounded within phenomenological framework in order to bridge the schism between the naturalistic and the philosophical in order to generate a holistic and integrated understanding of subjective experience. This is where we meet the application of phenomenology in mental health. Traditionally in Psychiatry a diagnosis is made primarily upon diagnostic criteria provided in diagnostic manuals such as the ICD-10 OR DSM-V. The criterion is based upon ostensible behavioural symptoms and aspects of mood and thought content and –process exhibited by the patient. Patient history is considered to establish duration, nature and degree of the disorder and secondly to establish clinical insight into the patient’s current presentation. However, in depth hermeneutical examinations are not common practice, mostly due to extraneous factors such as time and –resource constraints incurred by clinicians. Disturbance in conscious experience is directed towards a biological ontology and thus symptoms are addressed accordingly, though subjective aspects such as meaning, causation and intentionality, which are central in ascertaining a comprehensive pathology and in grasping the overall formation of mental states seems to take an ancillary role. This is not to say that clinical treatment is superfluous but rather to say that in observing finer phenomenological aspects of the patient’s overall experience, we might acquire new insights which might help elucidate problematic aspects of mental disorder and consciousness in general (refers to empathy as described by Jaspers and will be elaborated upon). Edmund Husserl and Successors Husserl’s Philosophical background to phenomenology We have previously began to examine the conceptual and disciplinary basis of Phenomenology in order to establish its viability and relevance in the application of mental health. However now to further understand its current form and content, we will examine the original principles which lead to the propagation and thus establishment of Phenomenology as an Independent philosophical discipline. To achieve this we must consider the early work and philosophical background of Edmund Husserl who is thought to originator of continental philosophy and founder and perhaps greatest proponent of classical phenomenology (Lyne, 2006:192). Husserl was initially trained as a mathematician and thus his early work was largely based upon mathematical problems, however it is in this work that we observe the emergence of his phenomenology as proposed in his Logical Investigations (1901/2) (Lyne, 2006:192). Husserl’s work began under the tutelage of Weierstrass, who is still regarded as a significant contributor to the field of mathematics, specifically calculus. His work was concerned with for e.g. the calculation “of the acceleration of a body at any given point” (Lyne, 2006:192). This is a widely utilised tool within various fields, the early methodology involved the usage of “infinitesimally small” values which for e.g. would mean when calculating “the acceleration of a body at a certain point, one needs, it seems to consider the distance it travels in an infinitesimally small period of time so small that, in fact, no time has passed at all!-as one wants its velocity at a given point.” (Lyne, 2006:192). These early calculations were thus, it seems based upon the dubious handling of what are referred to as irrational numbers, which are values which cannot be expressed as fractions, for e.g. the square root of two. Consequently a mathematician called Dedekind devised a method which allowed irrational numbers to be expressed as rational numbers and so the validity of calculations in calculus were propelled from being derived from a rather tenuous foundation into the realm of mathematical certainty. (Lyne, 2006:192). Following this advancement Gottlob Frege (1848-1925), credited with the formation of modern logic through the “formal system called predicate calculus” (Lyne, 2006:192), proposed that if irrational numbers could be reduced and thus expressed as rational, then rational or natural numbers could be defined in even simpler logical terms. We now witness the emergence of Husserl, who in his work The Philosophy of Arithmetic (1891) provides numerous objections to the ambitious project of Frege (Lyne, 2006:193). The basic premise of his objection is that our concept of numbers is irreducible and therefore no simpler logical unit can be derived to define numbers. Conversely, and this is where we reach the origination of his phenomenology, he suggests that although we cannot further simplify our conception of numbers we can attempt to understand how we perceive objects in groups and how we ascribe associations to particular objects (intentionality), thus we have a praxis shift from the purely logical to the psychological (Lyne, 2006:193). Now in this consideration of the interaction or co-dependence of the mental processes which constitutes our conceptions regarding numbers and thus objects, Husserl was criticised as subscribing to psychologism which deems that “logical or mathematical truths are empirical in that there are psychological laws concerning how human brains or minds function” (Lyne, 2006:194). This is important to note as Husserl’s consequent refutation of such criticism, and in asserting that “logical structures exist independently of their psychological correlates and that the search for the psychological aspects of the logical acts as subjective experiences must itself be conducted beyond the realm of psychological science” (Gregory 1987:326), formed the major premise of his earlier work and lead to the creation of his Logical Investigations (1900-1) and thus his theory of phenomenology. Husserl’s Phenomenology We will now endeavour to discuss some of the key elements of Husserl’s phenomenology, though it must be noted that this task is undertaken with only the purpose of elucidating some of most prominent aspects of some of the major propositions made within his work. Husserl was so prolific and thorough in his writings that it might be regarded virtually impossible to provide a description of the entirety of his work, in summary form, as is intended in this instance. We will begin with some of the aspects of his earlier work as proposed in his Logical Investigations (1900-1), where it might be helpful to conceive phenomenology as being “a type of analysis of the mental states involved in in processing knowledge in a form that can be communicated in language” (Lyne, 2006:198). One will notice that there is prominent emphasis on linguistic analysis within this work, as in order to perceive logical propositions without misunderstanding, it is necessary to ensure that its manner of transmission, which is language is received and processed with its intended meaning or logic. Now in order to grasp the basic premise of Husserl’s phenomenology and also of how his phenomenological analysis differs from that of empirical or descriptive psychology, one needs to “look out for places where he contrasts it with an empirical, psychological approach to mental life on one side and links it up with a purely logical analysis of language on the other” (Lyne, 2006:198). In order to achieve this we might look at some questions posed in the introduction of Husserl’s logical investigations (second volume): 1. Phenomenology as a pure or a priori discipline: Husserl refers to both phenomenology and logic as being pure, perhaps meaning that both these disciplines do not seek experimental or empirical findings in order to equate their results. (Lyne, 2006:192). Phenomenology is concerned with experiences regarding thinking and knowing, as is found in experimental psychology, however it differs in that it’s not an empirical investigation into “real psychological events we identify in human beings as instances of thinking or knowing.” (Lyne, 2006:192), but is concerned rather with them “in the pure generality of their essence, not experiences empirically perceived and treated as real facts, as experiences of human or animal experiments” (Husserl:1900-1:249). We can thus say experimental or empirical psychology is concerned with the mental processes that constitutes thinking and knowing whereas Phenomenology is concerned with the very idea and thus experience of what it means to be a knowing and thinking subject (Lyne, 2006:199). 2. Phenomenology’s relation to logic: Husserl in this matter suggests that phenomenology can play a role in the clarification of logic (Lyne, 2006:199). He warns that if logic is not brought to show relevance in the “life world” then it might be regarded as an esoteric activity with little value in fields where practical application is central. In other words what phenomenology attempts to achieve in logic is to provide a clarification of its function in everyday life by “using it in the analysis of what it means to possess logical, rational abilities, and the place of these abilities in the idea of being a knowing subject” (Lyne, 2006:199). It seems that Husserl asserts that logical concepts are derived from intuitions about our mental states, now one could infer that he intends to say that that all logic originates and is governed by mental laws, which is almost by definition the description of psychologism which he vehemently rejects. However it seems rather that he is merely referring firstly to the fact that any logic “must arise out of an ideational abstraction founded upon certain experiences” (Husserl 1900-1:252), and secondly that it is inadequate to rest in, as he puts it “mere words” as being the ultimate source of content (or logic). So it seems, that he suggests that phenomenology could be regarded as useful in the clarification of logic in the analysis of experiences that occur prior to the formation of empirical psychological postulates (thus being separate from Psychologism). 3. The difficulty of a phenomenological analysis: It is difficult to conduct such analysis as it becomes evident that what Husserl refers to it as intuition, regarding mental acts, leading to certain experiences, plays an important role in his phenomenology. Additionally it is made difficult in that it does not denote perception of a particular object but rather the “essential types of mental act involved in perception and recognition” (Lyne, 2006:199). We can then to some degree infer that phenomenological analysis relies upon reflection or introspection pertaining to such types of mental act. A problematic element in this becomes apparent in that it is difficult to assert that our introspective method (and thus consequent transmission) will bear a true likeness to the object of our cognition; as Lyne (2006:200) states: “While phenomenology seeks to be an analysis of what belongs a priori to the notion of a knowing subject, in terms of the essential types of mental state involved in our logical and cognitive abilities, we must constantly check to see that analysis does indeed make sense of how we think of ourselves”. 4. Phenomenology as descriptive discipline: We have already established that phenomenology is not a descriptive discipline in that it does not rely upon empirical observations that are recorded according to prescribed or current psychological theory and methodology. It exists rather as an “a priori conceptual analysis of what it means to be a knowing subject” (Lyne, 2006:200). Husserl, troublingly, does refer to the process involved in phenomenological analysis on various occasions as “descriptive psychology”. It is possible however, that this representation was employed as a device intended to “give a flavour of what a phenomenological analysis would look like” (Lyne, 2006:200). This means that he wished to present phenomenology within a methodological framework instead of describing it as an esoteric abstraction. The separatism in the matter however, stems from the fact that “descriptive psychology has a well-established use in relation to a particular form of empirical investigation” (Lyne, 2006:199), thus is seems that it is similar in that it literally pertains to the description of conscious experience, but is different in that it is firstly, concerned with the mental processes that occur prior to conception of ideation and secondly, does not adhere to a preferable methodology of measurement or recordation. 5. Phenomenology as theory of knowledge: This relates to Husserl’s proposition of pure logic (related to Prolegomena to Pure logic, volume one), it pertains to how we conceive logic, and in other words it culminates “in the formal study of theories as sets of interrelated propositions: logic as a formal theory of what a theory is” (Lyne, 2006:199). Phenomenology’s role in this is to relate this abstract study back “to a concrete understanding of the essential types of mental act possessed by a subject that can formulate theories” (Lyne, 2006:201). Husserl (1900-1:265) very eloquently and precisely describes the role he supposes that Phenomenology (which he refers to as “a formal theory of knowledge”) plays in the clarification of his “theory of knowledge”: “This theory of theories goes together, and is illuminated by, a formal theory of knowledge which precedes, therefore, all explanatory knowledge of the real, all physical science on the one hand, and all psychology on the other, and of course all metaphysics. Its aim is not to explain knowledge in the psychological or psychophysical sense as a factual occurrence in objective nature, but to shed light on the idea of knowledge in its constitutive elements and laws.” 6. Phenomenology’s presuppositionlessness: Here Husserl refers to the idea that Phenomenology as form of analysis “holds back form drawing on any explanatory theories of mental life” (Lyne, 2006:199). Husserl (1900-1:263) states that what phenomenology “aspires to, is no more than a thinking over, a coming to an evident understanding of, thinking and knowing as such, In their pure generic essence” (Husserl, 1900-1:263). This statement instead of expressing that phenomenological analysis is a mere form of simple introspection as it might suggest, might conversely refer to the idea that phenomenological investigation can occur without set hypothesis or empirical method, thus the approach to analysis is informal as to avoid a bias in analytical direction but draws upon a numerous fields to consider the acquired observations/results. 7. Phenomenology does not presuppose the existence of human beings: This point speaks of the suggested presuppositionlessness of phenomenology. The basic premise of the idea seems to be that phenomenology “is an a priori, conceptual analysis of the idea of being a certain sort of subject, irrespective of the physical manifestation of such entities” (Lyne, 2006:201), this is to say that if phenomenological analysis is to be useful in the clarification of pure logic then it cannot be subject to external or prior established suppositions, which as is agreed in empirical science can be a source of bias, which in turn may contaminate or distort ones observation in the exhibition of mental acts or intentional experience as they innately are, in themselves. The seven prior discussed topics provides us with a general basis of the focus of some of the major concepts proposed in his Logical investigations (1900-1), however there are a few concepts that are consistently exhibited in this work and even to a degree, throughout his later works, which seem to epitomise and to an extent provide a frame of reference in his extensive analysis of phenomenology. The first and perhaps the most pivotal concept is that of Intentionality and mental acts, concepts which Husserl himself scholastically expounded and clarified to a comprehensible form. Husserl in this instance, asserts that our mental lives can be characterised by two distinct forms of experience. He suggested that our conscious experience firstly is defined by our mental directedness towards objects (Intentionality), either to those physically present or those constructed in mental abstraction or sourced from memory. Here the idea that our thoughts or experiences are primarily of or about certain things is examined (Lyne, 2006:202) for e.g. we can hold beliefs or notions about boats, but a boat as it stands does not mean anything. Secondly Husserl presents the concept of non-intentional (the converse to intentional) mental acts. One might infer that non-intentional acts refer to mental acts or experiences in which consciousness is not necessarily directed towards a mental object for e.g. “a mental state such as pain, is not about anything in the same way- a pain is just a pain” (Lyne, 2006:202). Therefore we might say that intentionality refers the proposition that our conscious experience is derived from intentional and non-intentional objects (as previously described), regardless of whether an identical counterpart exists within physical reality. Furthermore Husserl adopted two terms, that of “quality” and “matter” to denote “aspects necessarily possessed by any mental act. Matter refers to the content of a mental act whereas quality refers to one’s general demeanour or attitude towards a mental act for e.g. “Being afraid that one has left the gas on” (Lyne, 2006:202), through this statement we can deduce that the attitude or quality regarding the matter is that of “being afraid”, thus the content or matter of the statement is “one has left the gas on”. Though this exercise seems rather esoteric in nature, it can be quite applicable in ascertaining a comprehensive understanding in instances of for e.g. linguistic analysis and in the analysis of logical proposition (applicable to the analysis of the language use and thought structure of patients). Leading on from these concepts, the fullness of mental acts is another aspect that Husserl contends constitutes our mental life. Fullness, as a term refers to the part sensory input (at a perceptive level) plays in the fruition of mental acts and thus experience. Sensory information in this instance is “conceived in isolation from their part in an intentional experience, sensory data are not of or about anything- they are non-intentional experiences such as pain” (Lyne, 2006:203). Husserl it seems in this conception attempts to express the idea that that firstly when we perceive a particular object, it is always one and the same object, though this object can be viewed from varying physical perspectives. Secondly Husserl (1900-1:565-566) states “very different contents are therefore experienced, though the same object is perceived” and thus “the experienced content, generally speaking, is not the perceived object” (1900-1:565-566), for e.g. a person might express that they experience a feeling of solemnity one night when staring at the moon, though we cannot define the moon as object according to the individuals experience of solemnity. Lastly Husserl presents the idea that we are not necessarily explicitly aware of the sensory content in a mental act “as we live though” it. “The object of the intentional experience is the object we are perceiving not the sensory content woven into the intentional mental state” (Lyne, 2006:203). The concept of fullness seems to express the idea that we gather subjective experiences for objects that are so to speak “one and the same thing”. This point speaking of subjective experience might especially be of value in psychopathology, in for e.g. relating an individual’s perception of their world in conjunction to their mood or emotional experience. The last of Husserl’s concepts that will be briefly examined is that of objectifying acts and founded acts. Husserl contends that “every mental act is either an objectifying or founded on an objectifying act” (Lyne, 2006:203). What this idea seems to express is that complex mental acts can have simpler mental acts as components which are inter-dependent in nature for e.g. if one takes the idea of “being happy that the sun is shining”, the more complex unitary experience of being happy is “founded on” the simpler “self-standing mental act of believing that the sun is shining” (objectifying act) (Lyne, 2006:203). Husserl in presenting this concept seems to wish to provide an additional investigative method in analysing mental acts, not just on a unitary level, but in a manner that might allow us to observe how such mental acts “figure in a broader conception of ourselves and our cognitive ability” (Lyne, 2006:203). Karl Jaspers Phenomenological approach to Psychopathology We have so far, introduced Phenomenology at a classical conceptual level, began to consider its application in the field of mental health and traversed some of the most prominent concepts as proposed in Husserl’s earlier work. We will now begin to examine the contribution of phenomenology in the establishment of modern psychopathology by briefly discussing a phenomenological approach to psychopathology as proposed by Karl Jaspers (1912), which served as one of the conceptual pillars of his massively influential works Allgemeine Psychopathologie (1913), which arguably served as the foundation of modern psychopathology. Although Jasper’s phenomenology is significantly distinctive from that of the classical discipline established by Husserl, his work will be viewed in conjunction with the phenomenology of Husserl as his early work possibly formed the basis from which Jaspers conceived his own phenomenological approach. One of the most prominent areas in which Husserl’s phenomenology can be observed is in that of Jaspers approach, is in the way he directly relates, even quotes Husserl’s aforementioned conception of the fullness of mental acts as a method to better understand the nature of a particular psychopathological symptom (Lyne, 2006:205). He directly draws “from Husserl’s analysis of perception in terms of the way the matter of an intentional act can remain constant while its sensory-contents changes” (Lyne, 2006:205). Before continuing in the examination of Jaspers Phenomenological approach, it might be appropriate to consider why it proves so difficult to produce a comprehensive assessment of correlation between the works of Husserl and himself. It may be firstly, due to the fact that at a definitive conceptual level, phenomenology held separate meanings for each and was thus employed in differing manners. Jaspers viewed phenomenology more as being a general empirical descriptive method in cataloguing and forming a taxonomy of mental states or symptoms (Lyne, 2006:191). For Husserl Phenomenology was more of a fundamental activity, he considered it to be “an analysis of the basic framework within which talk of mental states, including such distinctions as that between meaning and causes, is possible at all” (Lyne, 2006:191). He conceived of it as being a theory of knowledge, which serves as a conceptual analysis of what it means to be a knowing subject capable of forming theories at all (Lyne, 2006:191). Furthermore there are points in each men’s work where conceptual congruency seems evident but due to their adoption of differing terms, thus the same idea, at certain points, seems to be articulated but just in different terms, making comparative work tenuous. The first matter Jaspers relates in his phenomenological approach (1913), and which might serve as an appropriate platform from which to extricate and discuss its comprising elements is via his propositions regarding subjective and objective symptoms. Objective symptoms according to Jaspers seems to refer to any external manifestations of a patients disorder that can be perceived by the senses or empirically measured, this notably also includes “a patient’s utterances, written expressions, and ideas” (Lyne, 2006:184). This understanding of objective symptoms might be considered to be rather paradoxical in nature as thought and ideas, which might include delusional thought, cannot be perceived via the senses, though it seems that he attempts to clarify what can be perceived as a confounding statement by suggesting that objective symptoms includes all that can be understood via rational thought (Lyne, 2006:184). Jaspers (1968:1313) concept of subjective symptoms cannot be understood without his conception of empathy, which is central to his work in phenomenology, as he states: “Subjective symptoms cannot be perceived by the sense-organs, but have to be grasped by transferring oneself, so to say, into the other individual’s psyche; that is say empathy. They can only become an inner reality for the observer by his participating in the other person’s experiences, not by any intellectual effort”. Jasper’s notion of empathy Jaspers notion of empathy then seems to be based on the idea that of sharing in a patient or persons experiences without “any intellectual effort”. This he explains occurs by “transferring oneself….into an individual’s psyche”, he further mentions that the psychiatrist should seek to “actualise these phenomena for themselves” in “seeing” (Jaspers 1968:1216). These terms are quite broad in meaning and should perhaps be understood as having been employed in a metaphorical sense to express a highly abstract concept of non-objective knowledge for e.g. it is seemingly impossible to exactly transfer oneself into another’s subjective experience as it would occur in the first person. It seems then that what Jaspers attempts to express in the usage of such terms, is a process of understanding or insight that occurs without rational thought being exercised, as Jaspers (1968:1315) explains, empathy is “a matter of pure experience, not of explicit knowledge”. In other words it seems that Jaspers exploratory concern was thus not with the ostensible or objective symptoms of disorders but rather the idea of “knowing” what a particular disorder or symptom feels like or how it is experienced by the individual (Lyne, 2006:184). There is however an aspect of empathy that Jaspers personally affirms as being problematic and that is that of its incommunicability. This refers to the idea that when one attempts to relay an empathic experience in an experiential or empirical sense, some rational reflection is required, and thus we might say the uninhibited exhibition of a subjective symptom is distilled down to the objective realm. One might then be tempted to ask, what is the function of the study of empathy in psychopathology if its results cannot be conveyed without being confounded in some sense? To this Jaspers must admit that “it is objective symptoms that provide any sort of basis for our imaginative re-creation of subjective symptoms” (Lyne, 2006:185). So we might say the experience of empathy, combined with subsequent reflection provides the clinician with a deeper level of insight into objective symptoms and thus the disorder, so we might say that empathy acts as very comprehensive footnotes to a complicated piece of literature. Jasper (1968:1316) states “the more numerous and specific these indirect hints become, the more well-defined and characteristic do the phenomena studied appear”. Jaspers objective for phenomenology in psychopathology seems to be to assert the existence of subjective psychology alongside objective or experiential psychology which received exponential interest in the nineteenth century. Jaspers concern was that a psychology without the consideration of the subjective psyche, would leave us with an incomplete or disproportionate theory of what constitutes our mental lives (Lyne, 2006:184). As Jasper (1968:1314) puts it: “All such concepts as fatigability, the power of recovery, learning ability, practice, the effects of rest periods, etc., refer to performances that can be measured objectively, and it does not matter whether one is dealing here with a machine, a live but mindless organism, or a human being endowed with a mind”. He proposes that subjective psychology (phenomenology) can be subdivided into genetic and static understanding, the first referring to mental states related or dependent upon one another and the latter, which he adopted, referring to mental states occurring in isolation, which is notably different from Husserl’s multifaceted or hierarchical conception of mental states as aforementioned (“quality, matter and content”). I mention Jaspers static view of understanding as it brings us closer to how Jaspers conceived his phenomenology and thus how it might be employed in psychopathology. It is important to understand that Instead of rejecting genetic understanding in its entirety, he seems to suggest that static understanding should be attempted initially, as a preparatory method, as a means to ascertain uninhibited insight into mental states, prior to intellectual contamination such as psychologism. It thus seems that Jaspers suggests that static understanding should be used as a platform, from which proper or genetic inquiry can draw from in order to form a maximally diverse understanding of a particular mental state or disorder. From what he states in this instance, one might deduce that his view of the “aim of phenomenology in psychopathology is thus to describe and name the rich diversity of pathological mental sates, and to group them in suitable classifications- a taxonomy, one might say, of mental disorder.” (Lyne, 2006:184). Thus we might say that Jaspers attempts to, via the usage of phenomenological consideration, and such devices such as presuppostionlessness in classification to implore the physician to appreciate the rich diversity of factors which constitutes mental states and disorder. Therefore we might say that it attempts to steer us away from habitual adherence to prescriptive empirical methods, which might at times attempt to generically classify disorder into a few categories which do not sufficiently account for the infinite nature of subjective experience for each individual. Phenomenology, thus seems at its core, to address the problem of subjective experience/being and attempts to introduce an analytical method, which endeavours to systematise and consequentially articulate what seems to be an infinite range of sources and interactions which constitutes our mental lives. When one looks at phenomenological theorisation such as that of Husserl and Jaspers, at times one might conclude that it is an over-complicated, esoteric, confounding and almost a mystical exercise which is of little or no practical relevance. However, it must be considered that phenomenology very valiantly attempts to provide a theory of knowledge and method of analysis of man’s higher cognitive capacities, and such innately human faculties such as empathy which as phenomena seems to surpass our current empirical/descriptive understanding. Stated in different terms, it is improbable that there is a simple manner in which to describe and explain highly complicated and abstract theorems. What we have attempted to achieve in this text is to show how phenomenology came to exist as a formalised discipline and how it came to play a major part in the formation of modern Psychopathology. Its conceptual birth in mathematical theorisation, progression and eventual application in psychopathology as an analytical tool, is a testament to its self-proclaimed universality and presuppositionlessness. On a practical level, it encourages the individual consideration and appreciation of subjective experiences and thus of subjective symptoms (genetic and static understanding), which presented us with the opportunity to produce a comprehensive taxonomy (diagnostic manuals) of mental disorder. Phenomenology although dense and intricate in content and variation, seems to at a basic level, insight, the “thinking over” of information presented by the patient to the clinician, both at an objective and subjective empathic level and to consider contextual hermeneutical factors in order to form the most insightful and complete account of the patients experience and disorder. References Lyne, I., (2006) Phenomenology and Psychopathology. In: Fulford, B., Thornton, T., Graham., eds. Oxford textbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry. Great Clarendon Street, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 181-210. Fulford, B., Thornton, T., Graham., eds. (2006) Oxford textbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry. Great Clarendon Street, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 181-210. Gregory, R, L., ed. (1987) The Oxford Companion to The Mind. Walton Street Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ryle, G., (2000) The Concept of mind, 4th Edition, London WC2R 0RL: Penguin books. Husserl, E., (1900-01), “Introduction” to Logical investigations, Volume 2 Logical investigations, 2 volumes, (translated by J.N. Findlay), London: Routhledge and Kegan Paul, Volume 1 pp. 248-288. Jaspers, K., (1968). The Phenomenological Approach in Psychopathology. British Journal of Psychiatry, 114: 1313-1323 (anonymous translation of “Die Phanomenologische Forschungsrichrung in der Psychopathologie”, 1912, Zeitschrift fur die gesante Neurologie und Psychiatrie, 9:391-408). 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