HAS219/319 Philosophical Psychology
Daniel M. Byron 7342543
he describes phenomenology as foundationalist. as it seeks a correct answer or valid interpretation of texts not dependent on the biographical. as Laverty highlights.
. specifically that of Hermeneutics. Susann Laverty’s 2003 work ‘Hermeneutic Phenomenology and Phenomenology: A Comparison of Historical and Methodological Considerations’.
Allen (1995) argued that a clear distinction between phenomenology and hermeneutic phenomenology does not exist. 2003. it is described as non-foundationalist. conceptions and interpretations of both hermeneutics and phenomenology are not ‘stationary’ or ‘static’ and are logically subject to change and reinterpretation (2003. identifies that over the past three decades. More specifically. a rise in interest regarding qualitative methodologies in research has grown due to a disenchantment with the certainty of positivistic and logical-empirical inquiry (p. social or historical position of the interpreter. Such that risks over simplification. without questioning any distinction between them (Laverty. Psychology has the foundational and critiquing contributions of Philosophy.As is the case with many fields of study. Hermeneutic phenomenology.
It must be identified early on.3). an alternative residing in a perpetual re-examination of the social meaning. p. p.2). This paper aspires to briefly explore an alternative from a purely systematic reliance on clinical mental disorder classification. context and background of the practioner and the subject. or even reduction of individuals through the process of Psychological diagnosis.3). in contrast. phenomenology and hermeneutic phenomenology are often referred to interchangeably.
p.3). and a hermeneutic phenomenology (Laverty. consciousness may be understood as ‘dialogue’ between a person and the world. However. The hermeneutic phenomenological approach on the other hand differs as it is ‘nonfoundationalist’. 2003. in an attempt. Husserl put forward that when one could ‘bracket’ out. However. this position can be understood as a positivist one. From the perspective of Ontology. at least in the lack of differentiation often given between phenomenology. Phenomenology is understood by D. (Laverty. 2003.5). that minds and objects ‘occur within experience’ (Laverty. p3). one may have experience of the essential nature of an object/s. something that can be truly ‘apprehended’ (Denzin & Lincoln.
There exists a significant overlap. 2000). Ordered by intentionality and by grasping. the process or methodology of ‘Einklammerung’. and sees a synthesis between the reader’s interpretation and the context from with the material emerges. In this way.
A main proponent of mainstream phenomenology was Husserl who proposed that the duality of mind-body was eliminated by understanding consciousness through this field. 2003.as it focuses on meaning that arises from the interpretive interaction between historically produced texts and the reader. or make separate both biases and the ‘outer world’. we see the understanding and conception of phenomenology and hermeneutic phenomenology without a clear-cut differentiation (1995).G Allen to be a foundationalist. p. a position that perceives reality as ‘out there’. separated and unbiased by the socio-historical context. it is through the work of
. attempting to certify a legitimate interpretation of material. In the work of Allen.
2001. which are ‘given from birth’. if not intrinsically meaningful (Guigon. Dilthey opposed applying the same view on objects as of human beings. one of interpretation and re-interpretation (1894). p98). p195). 1969. 1962). differentiating the natural sciences from the human (Martin & Sugarman. 1989). p61). especially in regards to experimenting and observing (Guignon. that we begin to see a Hermeneutical phenomenology. His aim was to create a critical response to the trending compulsion of the nineteenth century to adhere to the physical sciences (Phillips. Through his conception of ‘Dasein’. Heidegger suggests that one’s ‘background’ can’t be made explicit entirely (Munhall. however this is also known to be the limitation of Diltheyan hermeneutics
. ‘that is’. Dilthey suggested an entrenched lived experience. ex-student of Husserl. 2012. p98). For Dilthey ‘human phenomena’ is always to be loaded with meaning. Acknowledging the undeniably situated reality of sociohistorical and cultural contexts of each individuals position. of understanding one’s human existence as reflexive to the recognition of ‘being’ a person or human (Heidegger 1927.
The so-called ‘father of contemporary hermeneutics’.Martin Heidegger. 2012. Macquarrie & Robinson. Rather than attempting to frame the conversation of mind under the restrictions of an external and internal or Cartesian dualism of Mind and Body. trans. There are understandings that generalized to be reproducible. This ‘naturalistic’ approach can be understood as qualified or empowered research identifying and establishing ‘objective facts’ about external phenomena. roughly understood as. as to him they pertained an intentionality and subsequent arising background. holds the connotation of existence. William Dilthey revived the hermeneutical enquiry.
It requires one to ‘get behind’ the face value or appearance of data or a text (1981. p65). p100) and examine the mens auctoris.
Over Husserl’s career. p19-20)
If we accept human phenomena as holding meaning.
. the next position is to understand interpretation process. 1969. that of the intentional meaning and purpose of the text that is being examined. the intention of the text or author (p110). it was Karl Jasper in the field of Psychiatry who first attempted an application of Dilthey’s Hermeneutics into the comprehension of some conditions in the psychiatric field (Phillips. Packer & Anderson propose that we are both constituted by the social and contribute to it. and that of the observation or observer. 1969. directly correlating phenomena (Jones. and there is no possibility of becoming ‘dispassionate’ and ‘neutral’ observers as the rationalist and empirical positions may inwardly desire (1989. an essential member of Hermeneutical position who was influenced by Martin Heidegger. Hans-Georg Gadamer. this is the demand of Hermenuetics (1981. at least for the perceiver and generator. For Gadamer. jests that it is ‘artificial’ or flase to suggest that ‘statements’ simply descend from heaven and could be studied without someone questioning the intention for their origination. p107).
In the progression of Hermeneutic thought.(Phillips. 1975). interpretation is twofold. p65). he accused psychology of applying the methodology of the ‘natural sciences’ onto subjects who are in actuality reflexively reacting to a perception of external stimuli rather than responding in a predictable and measurable manner to isolated. In a similar manner for Hermeneutics.
and where is the place for causal explanations” in relation to disorders and inquiries (Phillips.194).What might be understood as the crux of the applying Hermeneutics into Psychology. can exert influence over (1995). in the case of Psychiatry.
Ian Hacking highlights the embeddedness of human psychology within the physical and social-cultural sphere through which. and while situated within the contexts presented by Hacking. What does this mean for a practioner of Psychology who is to act as a secondary interpreter?
Phillips suggests that such a practice or therapy is assisting in generating a new narrative for the individual or subject. acknowledge the irreducibility of humans due to their contexts (p. This is possible because the hermeneutical discussion allows a reflexivity upon the individuals already selfinterpreted narrative and creates a dialogue around this. and
. This might be understood by the quintessential phrase. Psychiatry and its’ related practices is the ‘task’ of creating a dialogue to find a “place for understanding of meaning. the construction of one’s life-story or how a patient “organizes [their] world meaningfully” is equivocal to what makes the individual suffer (1969. that which human studies investigates is ‘pre-interpreted’ (p66) and as Phillips highlights in the work of Taylor (1985). once a level of self-reflexivity is achieved. that we are ‘self-interpreting animals’. Jack Martin and Jeff Sugarman (2001) propose that the psychology of a human is an emergent phenomenon. 1969. p65). Phillips also suggests that. p66). Martin and Sugarman identify that Hacking’s understanding of the reflexivity of humans to adjust.
suggesting that. which is a position of postmodernist critiques on traditional psychology. commonly known as a ‘fusion of horizions’. is known as the Horizontverschmelzung. leading to a new perspective or horizon. The second position it challenges is in quite direct opposition to the first. experience or other individual (Gadamer. the ‘Smelting of horizons’. understood as a strong relativism (p. This is a hermeneutic methodology of transformative dialogue. It is through language. between ourselves and the ‘text’. The first is that this conception of human psychology challenges a ‘naturalisitic’ approach that is reductionist. connoting a sense of conjoined unity of two perspectives.
What is later suggested by Gadamer. or in even a more literal German understanding. and exploration of and through these.
The Horizontverschmelzung aptly interpreted by Chris Lawn.influence the categories that influence them makes it ‘difficult to accept’ two differing ends of psychological understandings.
Establishing a hermeneutical dialogue within the Psychological context cannot rely simply on attempting to comprehend external intention and motivation. incorporating all possible views. and attempts to see beyond the historical. or ‘intrinsic linguistic qualities’ that Gadamer sees a dialogue occurring.194). essentializes. p110. it must arise or emerge as a process that incorporates the relational. or one’s own background.
Interpretation is sited within the mutual horizon of the interpreter and the things to be interpreted” (2006. The Hermeneutical application. has its own horizon of meaning. should not be subject to reduction. are not purely ‘objective and detached’ and due to the nature of human psychology. the interpretation and the ‘predunderstandings’. Gadamer himself describes hermeneutics as ‘more than just a method of the sciences’. according to Packer and Anderson. or if that is found unacceptable. Koch (1995) submits that it is not in actuality a methodological position. should also be understood as irreducible in the eyes of Packer and Anderson (1989). The current influence the individuals holds over these spheres. resulting in a ‘fusion of horizons’ (p835). and actually proposed that it is a ‘natural human capacity’ (1981. rather an ‘ongoing conversation’. 2001. psychological endeavours and inquiries are subject to interpretation. p2). true validation is difficult (Martin & Sugarman. that human’ psychology is not subject to complete reductionism. p114). p201).“a text. Following this line of thought. It must be established that. or any thing or event within the world we interpret. according to Packer and Anderson we should not reverse this process apply a reduction the individual back to its origins. historical and cultural ground from which individuals emerges. An understanding will arise through applying a dialect between the data.
While the choice to use the term methodology has been made in this paper.
Once we have established the social. we can move towards to a Hermeneutical application in Psychology and Psychoanalysis. if avoiding the pitfalls of essentializing or resolving to pure relativism may result in
(1999). and may be less able to ‘distance’ oneself for such a reflective and introspective process. there exists many challenges with this approach. or a background of experiences that could be far removed from that of the practioner. further highlights the concern that the practice of Psychotherapy requires an established cultural understanding. 1968). This forms a relationship of plurality with recognition of the limitations upon the professional’s knowledge and the openness for revision (Phillips. an obvious objection arises when we are addressing such a field as Psychology. which may be supported by the words of Social theorist Goffman regarding observers attempts to avoid addressing other’s stigmas (Goffman. Richardson et al. Phillips also suggests that each individual with a supposed illness will have a differing understanding and experience of such. Furthermore.
In many ways this unshackles the intentionality of the interaction between professional and client away from biological causality and subsequent prescription for an established psychological illness. and additionally potentially this Hermeneutical
Naturally.a ‘methodology’ that allows for interpretation to be utilized and explored. Phillips himself noting the obstacle of addressing the proposed illness directly. rather than the illness. This hermeneutic methodology assists the practioner to recognize the individual as such. as research subjects and patients may be experiencing a life-world. towards a dialogue regarding life structures and meanings. p68). The author further observes that a psychological practioner who knows a diagnosis of the patient or subject is only part of the way towards treating the patient.
if the underlying motivation of the Professional is to reinsert or correct an individual towards a functioning society into which they now do not fit. Furthermore. Furthermore.
However.273). that of the practioner being willing to explore the inhibitions and resistances a client may have for such a dialogue. to question their own inhibitions to see a ‘fusion of horizons’ within the context of Psychological practice may be essential to implementing such a Hermeneutical approach. Gadamer suggests that this practice itself depends client of Psychology and Psychoanalysis professionals having a genuine experience of feeling in need of assistance and if the client has resistances then it will not be successful. Healy identifies that weaknesses in
. p79). where is the ground in which the practioner and client or subject stand.‘methodology’ may disestablish the ‘relative merits’ of modes of being that are held (p. that can be seen as an unfair presupposing that Gadamer accused Psychoanalysis (1981. the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used in the Psychiatric for identifying disorders through ‘shorthand’. This further emphasizes the necessity of implementing a methodology or dialogue into this that continues to be addressed throughout this current paper.
I propose that a fluid and changeable approach to addressing such differences is necessary. assisting Psychiatric practioners to communicate complex information and share and compare understandings of mental disorders (2011).
Paul Healy identifies the DSM. historical and social positions. when we have two differing cultural.
In other words. especially in Psychological endeavours. atemporal system of judgement of conceptual ‘laws’ that can only be comprehended objectivity. focusing on the body (neurological) element of the Cartesian dualistic model which requires ‘fixing’ and even it’s ‘dehumanizing’ impersonality (p165-167). such as it’s positivist clinical ‘depersonalisation’.
Gadamer raises here an essential commentary upon Hermeneutics in this field.the DSM lies in ‘rendering the diagnostic system immune to criticism’ (p165). he highlights the criticism regarding the DSM. Furthermore. potentially objectifying the individual. More directly. perhaps exemplified by the DSM. some room to move from the restraints of an ordering. and proposes the questions the nature of its contribution to Psychology and Psychoanalysis:
‘Where does the art of understanding belong? Does hermenutics stand closer to rhetoric? Or should one bring it more in proximinity with logic and the methodology of the sciences?’ (1981. subject to change. this is a position that
. Healy suggests that it may possibly mislead an individual towards ‘reifying’. p114)
The contribution of Hermeneutic thought may lead us towards an understanding of an emergent subjectivity that is both socio-historically arising. According to the work of Gergen (1991). something that will obviously conflict with an ongoing Hermeneutical dialogue. This provides some breathing space. a psychological ‘disturbance’. and therefore. when the issue may be more subtle.
Both Crushman (1995) and Woolfolk (1998) also suggest that with a hermeneutical approach to Psychotherapy. it may be naively deducted that essentially Healy is calling for is an ability within practioners to identify the specificities of each situation they are in. for rather approaching a perceived concern or inquest as an objectively measurable phenomena. the client can become re-
. p174). he proposes that this is completely compatible with both the Hermeneutical process and the ‘specification of practical guidelines’ (2011.
In many ways. it may should practically culminate as a knowledge of ‘self and other’. is of benefit to prevailing and dominant existing positions. and in an applicable form. Conclusively. 2001. to apply a somewhat intuitive judgement and to remain ‘open’ to being challenged. both practioner and client are opened by the process of the Hermenutic enquiry. p198-99).reinforces an independent reality of ‘unchanging’ forms acting chaotically. ‘knowing what to do’ by understanding the ‘broad cultural’ sources that may contribute to the individuals life (Martin & Sugarman. without applying the reductionism this current paper is leaning away from.
If understood and applied correctly.
Healy identifies that an alternative would be for practioners to develop the ‘art’ of actually diagnosing. if necessary. the patient.
.empowered in dialogue to examine the context from which the inquiry arises and the manner in which it is changeable. perpetually subject to re-examination. opened by interpretation and liberated by a fusion of horizons.
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