Pathology as a Phenomenological Tool

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Abstract

The phenomenological method (or rather, methods) has been fruitfully used in exploring the experience of illness in recent years. However, the role of illness is not limited to that of a passive object for phenomenological scrutiny. I propose that illness, and pathology more generally, can be developed into a phenomenological method in their own right. I claim that studying cases of pathology, breakdown, and illness offer illumination not only of these experiences, but also of normal function and the tacit processes that underpin it. In particular, I claim that the study of embodiment can be greatly enhanced, and indeed would be incomplete, without examination of bodily breakdown and what I term bodily doubt. I offer an analogy between illness and Husserl’s epoché, suggesting that both are a source of distancing, and therefore motivate a reflective stance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalContinental Philosophy Review
Publication statusSubmitted - 1 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • Phenomenology, illness, pathology, Merleau-Ponty, Husserl, epoche

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    Carel, H. (2019). Pathology as a Phenomenological Tool. Manuscript submitted for publication.