Silence, depression, and bodily doubt: Toward a phenomenology of silence in psychopathology

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Despite the relevance of silence in several psychopathologies, first-person perspectives on silence have been largely neglected in the phenomenological scholarship on those conditions. This paper proposes a phenomenological framework for addressing this neglect and demonstrates its usefulness through a case study of empty silence, an experience which can be found in many first-person accounts of depression. The paper begins by surveying research on silence in depression in mental health research and phenomenological psychopathology. Drawing on the thought of Merleau-Ponty, it then outlines a phenomenological framework for explicating the structure of silence experiences in psychopathology. Finally, it applies this framework to articulate the experiential structure and implications of empty silence, with a particular emphasis on the bodily doubt that can flow from repeated experiences of empty silence.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophical Psychology
Early online date20 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 May 2024

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© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


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