Category: Edition 2 - December 2005
 
 

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pdf.png Editorial for Volume 5, Edtion 2 (December 2005) - By Editor-in-Chief  

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Despite significant advances in our understanding of human behaviour and experience, there nonetheless remain widespread controversies in contemporary psychology regarding the appropriate best-practice methods and approaches for observing consciousness and the role that inner experience should play in psychological theorizing. To a significant extent, these differing - some might argue conflicting - orientations reflect methodological differences between natural science and human science approaches to the understanding of lived phenomena. ...


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pdf.png Dreams and Medicines: The Perspective of Xhosa Diviners and Novices in the Eastern Cape, South Africa - By Manton Hirst  

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Based on anthropological fieldwork conducted in the Eastern Cape, the paper explores the interconnections between dreams (amathongo, amaphupha) and medicines (amayeza, imithi, amachiza) as aspects of the Xhosa diviner's culture, knowledge and experience. Background information is provided in the introduction, inter alia, on the Xhosa patrilineal clan (isiduko), divination (imvumisa, evumiso) and religious and cultural change. The ability to dream, inter alia of the ancestors and medicines, is central to the diviner's intuition and professional stock-in-trade, which are part and parcel of a religious healing tradition. Examples of dreams involving the ancestors (iminyanya), diviners, clients and medicinal plants are presented and analysed in relation to relevant case material. The ritual significance of dreams is explored in some detail. The distinctions between diviner (igqirha lokuvumisa) and herbalist (ixhwele), and between medicines and charms (amakhubalo), receive attention in the section on medicines. The underlying purpose of traditional Xhosa religious ideology is discussed in the conclusion.


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pdf.png The Experience of Male Rape in Non-Institutionalised Settings - By Gertie Pretorius and Richard Hull  

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The aim of this article is to describe the phenomenon of male rape from the victims' perspectives. The methodology employed relied on transcendental phenomenology in order to create the rich descriptions of the lived experiences of three male survivors of rape. From the descriptions elicited from the formulation of an open-ended question, it was discovered that the phenomenon of male rape has a dominant structure that is related to the destruction and reconstruction of the masculine self. The research also revealed several textural themes that include the characteristics of the assault, treatment and support that victims receive, the effects of the assault on the self, disclosure, the learning and life changes brought about by the assault, the victims' feelings towards their assailants and the effect of the assault on the victims' relationships. This study hopes to facilitate further descriptive research on the phenomenon of male rape in order that greater knowledge be gleaned and applied regarding its prevention and healing processes.


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pdf.png Give Sorrow Words: The Meaning of Parental Bereavement - By Ann-Marie Lydall, Gertie Pretorius, and Anita Stuart  

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A fundamental tenet of hermeneutic phenomenology is that people seek to create meaning of their experience from the response sited within human consciousness. The focus of this study is on the world of the lived experience as it is interpreted by participants through memory and language as accessed by interviews in order to produce an understanding of the participants' experience. Three participants were interviewed whose adult children had died as a result of an AIDS-related illness. The interviews were recorded and transcribed, and interwoven analyses sought to illustrate the participants' lived experience of the phenomenon. An attempt was made to understand how the various phenomena relating to parental bereavement were reflected by participants in the interviews. Common themes included reactions to the knowledge of the illness, the experience of being with their dying child, coping with the pain of the loss, and spiritual and existential concerns. There are references to how others judge their grieving behaviour. Issues of retribution and punishment are prominent and these appear to place a particular burden of sorrow on the grieving parent. The study provided insight into the lived experience of bereavement and the forging of new meaning structures that can accommodate the loss.


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pdf.png Death Mirrors the Spirit of Life - By Gabriel Rossouw and David Russell  

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The aim of this paper is to further an understanding of how a soul comes to despair and how the spirit of life is wounded. This question is approached from the perspective of death - in the form of death defying acts and voluntary death - as the dialectic aspect of being and non-being. Death can be a reflection of the life lived and the experience of who I am. The relation between ego and Self determines who I am. Two forms of misrelating between ego and Self will be considered. One causes a sense of omnipotence as the ego identifies with Self, and the other causes a sense of alienation as the ego renounces the Self to establish an intellectual vacuum, which becomes a substitute for lived experience. In both instances, there is a growing despair of inauthenticiy and the experience of non-being, which voluntary death and death defying acts attempt to put an end to. Both manifestations of death are attempts to resolve the imbalance between the eternal and temporal dimensions of being - to put an end to the despair of being unconscious of Self - and to affirm being. It is only when there is a conscious dialectic between ego and Self that an authentic existence becomes possible. An authentic existence represents the ongoing commitment to incarnate the human reality that exists between the world of imagination and the world as it appears to our senses. This, I argue, amounts to a spirit with soul.


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pdf.png Friendship Otherwise: Toward a Levinasian Description of Personal Friendship - By Jack Mash  

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A Levinasian reading of intimate and personal friendship - of friendship "otherwise than political", as it were - suggests that intimate and personal friendship cannot be subsumed under either completely ethical or completely erotic terms. While friendship can be understood as a certain "fraternity", and thus be legitimately employed in discussing justice and politics, such a usage trades on a certain equivocation. Hermeneutics seeks to make the alien familiar, and deconstruction seeks to show that the familiar is always (already) alien. As this paper seeks to describe, a Levinasian reading of personal friendship involves both of these movements. In that Levinas, however, never explicitly addresses this relationship, the paper proceeds by sketching the broad contours of his thought before offering a phenomenology of personal friendship in the wake of the limits Levinas thematizes in his analysis of the ethical relation. The readings and analysis presented suggest that personal friendship appears as an irreducible excess, reducible to neither ethics nor enjoyment, while nevertheless passing through ethics and enjoyment. Friendship marks a space of non-violent familiarity and exteriority, a site of solidarity between identity and difference.


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pdf.png Higher than Actuality: The Possibility of Phenomenology in Heidegger - By Michael Marder  

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This paper proceeds from a schematic analysis of Heidegger's notion of 'possibility' to consider the methodological significance of Heidegger's conception of what is essential in phenomenology as inhering not "in its actuality as a philosophical ‘movement'", but in the understanding of phenomenology "as a possibility". In conclusion, the paper points to the efficacy of possibility and its mode of fulfillment as radically different from the actualization of latent potentiality.


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pdf.png Narcissism, Nationalism and Philosophy in Heidegger - By Steven Segal  

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This paper contrasts the notion of "willing" in Heidegger's politics with the notion of "dawning" in Heidegger's philosophy. It argues that, in the political text, the attunement of Dasein to what-is is centred in the notion of Dasein's "willing" of what-is, while in the philosophical text it is centred in the notion of what-is "dawning" on Dasein. It maintains that the attitude to anxiety essential to a "dawning" of what-is is not reached in Heidegger's "The Self-Assertion of the German University ". It concludes by maintaining that, rather than being attuned to what-is, the will in the "The Self-Assertion of the German University" is attuned to its own relationship to what is in a narcissistic rather than a philosophical way; that is, it territorializes "dawning" as a relation to "what is", and makes "dawning" of "what-is" its "own" in the same way as any nationalism makes a culture, a language or a geographical region its own. In contrast to the narcissism of nationalism, philosophy, as outlined by Heidegger in the essay "What Is Metaphysics?", is the experience of allowing what-is to "dawn" on Dasein rather than a preoccupation with "willing" of "dawning" as one's own relation to Being.


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