Category: Edition 2 - August 2006
 
 

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pdf.png Editorial for Volume 6, Edition 2 (August 2006) - By Editor-in-Chief  

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A phenomenological approach to social science research offers a radical alternative to traditional understandings of what we believe we are able to know about the world and being human. A phenomenological approach, as with many other qualitative approaches, but in contrast to a positivist natural science perspective, entails at least the following four elements: ...


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pdf.png The Essentials of Existential Psychoanalysis - By Neil Soggie  

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The purpose of this inquiry was to provide a guide for discussing the essential requirements for existential therapy, in particular within the initial phase. From the responses of a sample of professional therapists, three essential themes have been identified: convenience (that is, having a script that will allow the therapist to reach a rapid understanding of the nature of the client's existential being), mythic familiarity, and an emphasis upon imaginal techniques.


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pdf.png On the Phenomenon of Inserted Thoughts: A Critique of Shaun Gallagher’s Neuro phenomenological Account of Thought Insertion - By Steve Schofield  

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This paper explores the phenomenon of thought insertion, an experience reported by some schizophrenics where it is believed that other persons or forces are inserting thoughts into their minds. This relatively circumscribed symptom of schizophrenia raises difficult questions concerning our sense of agency for our thoughts. How is it possible that persons can think that their thoughts are not their own? Gallagher, drawing on Husserl's early work on time-consciousness, provides a subtle and sophisticated answer to this problem, suggesting that protention may underlie our sense of agency for thinking and that the experience of inserted thoughts may occur in the event of an intermittent failure in this protentional function. More recent Husserl scholarship suggests, however, that this account may face problems on phenomenological grounds. It is argued here that our sense of agency for thinking requires more than protention, and, consequently, that the absence of protention cannot fully explain the loss of agency for thinking characterizing the experience of thought insertion. In order to contextualize this discussion of the phenomenon theoretically and, in the process, to provide an introduction to the difficulties in explaining it, this paper proceeds with a consideration of Frith's early cognitive account of thought insertion and the contribution of Stephens and Graham in this regard. In conclusion, it is argued that, despite the merits of all three accounts presented, they remain unable to account for the phenomenon of inserted thoughts, and that we might more fruitfully understand this experience as being a type of uncontrollable passive or autochthonous thinking.


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pdf.png Fatherhood as Taking the Child to Oneself: A Phenomenological Observation Study after Caesarean Birth - By Kerstin Erlandsson, Kyllike Christensson and Ingegerd Fagerberg  

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This paper describes the meaning of a father's presence with a full-term healthy child delivered by caesarean section, as observed during the routine post-operative separation of mother and child. Videotaped observations recorded at a maternity clinic located in the metropolitan area of Stockholm, Sweden formed the basis for the study, in which fifteen fathers with their infants participated within two hours of elective caesarean delivery in the 37th - 40th week of pregnancy.
A phenomenological analysis based on Giorgi's method was conducted on the data. The description of the new father's experiences that emerged pointed to a process of being and becoming in taking the child to himself. Fatherhood developed gradually as a result of recurrent experiences of the child's expressions. There was an ebb and flow between taking on the role of being a father and physical withdrawal from the role.
The findings of this study not only confirm previous accounts of new fathers' experiences, but go further in revealing an ebb and flow variation in the fathers' involvement. What this indicates is that the process of transition to fatherhood requires not only presence but time. The period required for this process thus must not be disturbed, but supported, trusting in the father's ability to assume his role as a father. It is suggested that, in addition to their relevance in guiding the attitudes and expectations of those professionally involved in postnatal care and community health, these findings could be useful in antenatal courses for parents, and especially in instances when caesarean birth is planned, to highlight the meaning of the role of fathers as caregivers.


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pdf.png On the Sense of Ownership of a Community Integration Project: Phenomenology as Praxis in the Transfer of Project Ownership from Third-Party Facilitators to a Community after Conflict Resolution - By Maurice Apprey and Endel Talvik  

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There are non-governmental organizations that operate transnationally and there are those that operate within the boundaries of a nation. A third use of non-governmental organizations is articulated. We may call this third category an instrumental use of non-governmental organizations to facilitate the transfer of the work of third-party conflict resolution practitioners to the two previously feuding parties. Representative accounts are provided in Part I of this paper.
In Part II, the instrumental use of the NGO to transfer knowledge from practitioners to the indigenous and previously feuding parties is depicted as a means to fill a practice gap in the field of conflict resolution, where many praxes do not examine the transfer of knowledge in an experiential and discovery-oriented way. An alternative is presented where the process of appropriation is suggested as an object of study.
In Part III, a conceptualization of how one may determine the phenomenology of a sense of ownership of the project by the previously feuding parties is provided. A phenomenological account of the journey from constituting subjectivity to a constituted objectivity is articulated to the point where we see a division of labour between Husserl's transcendental project, that seeks universal and broader essences, and psychology, which is highly contextualized.
Part IV constitutes the implementation of the praxis to answer the specific question, "What is the sense of ownership of the parties in conflict?" - and, derivatively, "What is the fate of the hitherto agonistic relation?" A conflict resolution model is consolidated or reconfigured using the lessons drawn from the results of the study and from a second look at the literature to see where changes in practice and reconceptualization may be required.


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pdf.png Language: Functionalism versus Authenticity - By Peter McGuire  

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This paper sets out to demonstrate that a phenomenological reflection on language highlights the possibilities of authenticity in communication, and as such provides a very necessary complement to the dominant linguistic perspectives: the syntactic and grammatical perspective, Saussurean linguistics, and systemic functional linguistics. While the syntactic and grammatical perspective, which predominates in the educational context, presents language as an institutionalized, authoritarian and self-contained system, Saussurean linguistics provides a view of language as a complex, self-contained, technical system, as such reflecting the nature of modern society. The third perspective, systemic functional linguistics, describes templates of specific genre, models which aid students to construct their own, while simultaneously discouraging individual self-expression. In contrast, a reflective phenomenological perspective identifies and encourages authentic self-expression. The paper concludes by considering ways to reconcile the impetus in language teaching towards, on the one hand, the language of institutional authority, and, on the other, individual self-expression.


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pdf.png How Does a Dark Room Appear: Husserl’s Illumination of the Breakthrough of Logical Investigations - By Juha Himanka  

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Evidence is the very core of Husserlian phenomenology, with the term "evidence" signifying for Husserl the phenomenological perspective on the question of truth. In contrast to the conventional philosophical understanding of "truth" in mainly epistemological terms, Husserl's notion of "evidence", as elaborated in his Logical Investigations (1900-1), is more essentially ontological, pointing to the way in which a phenomenon becomes clear to us in its constitution. Husserl's main point in the Sixth Investigation was that we can "see" how evidence functions when we compare something in the fullness of its presence with the emptiness of its absence. This paper considers the example Husserl offers of the room where the lights go off in order to illuminate the breakthrough for phenomenology achieved by Logical Investigations in its move beyond logic and epistemology to the primary level of pretheoretical experience as the reality of the real.


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pdf.png BOOK REVIEW (by Tere Vaden) - Quantum Closures and Disclosures  

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Gordon G. Globus (2003). Quantum Closures and Disclosures: Thinking-Together Postphenomenology and Quantum Brain Dynamics (Volume 50 in the series Advances in Consciousness Research). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.


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pdf.png BOOK REVIEW (by Penny Bernard) - Companion Guides to Contemporary Shamanism  

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Hillary S. Webb (2003). Exploring Shamanism: Using Ancient Rites to Discover the Unlimited Healing Powers of Cosmos and Consciousness. Franklin Lakes, NJ: New Page Books
Hillary S. Webb (2004). Travelling between the Worlds: Conversations with Contemporary Shamans. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.


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