Category: Edition 1 - May 2007
 
 

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pdf.png Editorial for Volume 7, Edition 1 (May 2007) - By Editor-in-Chief  

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During the compilation of this issue of the journal it was observed by the editorial team that the recent submissions - all independently conceived and originating from different corners of the world - engaged remarkably similar themes in their focus on issues around psychiatry and clinical psychology, the use of poetry as a research tool, and the philosophical underpinnings of the phenomenological approach. ...


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pdf.png Examining the Lived World: The Place of Phenomenology in Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology - By Bruce Bradfield  

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This paper aims to explore the validity of phenomenology in the psychiatric setting.The phenomenological method - as a mode of research, a method of engagement between self and other, and a framework for approaching what it means to know -has found a legitimate home in therapeutic practice.Over the last century, phenomenology, as a philosophical endeavour and research method, has influenced a wide range of disciplines, including psychiatry. Phenomenology has enabled an enrichment of such practice through deepening the way in which we can come to know the experiences of the other.This knowing-of-the-other is explored here within the context of psychiatric and clinical assessment. The question asked is: How best can we come to know those we work with? What method of engagement can be used to most completely come to understand and narrate the experiences of the individual, and how can this be applied in the context of an assessment aimed at psychiatric or psychological intervention? Elements of phenomenological praxis are presented as definitive of the most integral way of approaching the human subject. Husserlian and Heideggerian notions are explicated and related to phenomenological conceptions of intersubjectivity, in an effort to describe a phenomenology that can be used effectively within the psychiatric setting.


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pdf.png Understanding the Ubiquity of the Intentionality of Consciousness in Commonsense and Psychotherapy - By Ian Rory Owen  

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A formal and idealised understanding of intentionality as a mental process is a central topic within the classical Husserlian phenomenological analysis of consciousness. This paper does not define Husserl's stance, because that has been achieved elsewhere (Kern, 1977, 1986, 1988; Kern & Marbach, 2001; Marbach, 1988, 1993, 2005; Owen, 2006; Zahavi, 2003). This paper shows how intentionality informs therapy theory and practice. Husserl's ideas are taken to the psychotherapy relationship in order to explain what it means for consciousness to have intentionality in various ways. The role of intentionality in psychopathology and its treatment within cognitive behavioural therapy is explained as a way of showing how understanding intentionality creates a medium for the delivery of care.


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pdf.png Poetry and Narrative as Qualitative Data: Explorations into Existential Theory - By Rich Furman  

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This article explores existential principles through autoethnographic poetry and narrative reflections. The use of poetry and narrative as tools in qualitative research is explored. Poetry and narratives are shown to be valuable tools for presenting people's lived experiences of complex existential principles and processes. The use of poetry and narrative in this research is positioned within the traditions of expressive arts and postmodern research methods.


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pdf.png Managing above the Graft: How Management needs its Fertile Wounds from which Imagination can Grow - By David Russell  

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The aim of this paper is to show how the incorporation of metaphoric and poetic ways of thinking into the evaluation of a leadership development programme both captured the imagination of the employees and benefited the core business of a manufacturing production plant. Qualitative data evaluating the effectiveness of a substantial leadership programme were presented back to all members of a manufacturing plant (executive and non-executive) in the form of composite narratives over an eighteen-month period. Recommendations were derived from the text of the narrative and were progressively implemented. Such was the positive response to the written narratives that senior management asked the researchers to present the narratives in the form of a ‘live' performance. Evaluation through qualitative methodology lends itself to an imaginative interpretation and presentation. Although qualitative and quantitative data tend to be regarded as complementary in applied research, it was management's decision to employ only a qualitative process in this instance. The decision was fortuitous, given that the leadership development programme was initially judged to be a failure, as it triggered a subsequent imaginative engagement that turned a failure into a success.


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pdf.png Merleau-Ponty on Human Motility and Libet’s Paradox - By Brian Mooney and Damien Norris  

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In 1979, neuroscientists Libet, Wright, Feinstein and Pearl introduced the "delay-and-antedating" hypothesis/paradox based on the results of an on-going series of experiments dating back to 1964 that measured the neural adequacy [brain wave activity] of "conscious sensory experience". What is fascinating about the results of this experiment is the implication, especially when considered in the light of Merleau-Ponty's notions of "intentionality" and the "pre-reflective life of human motility", that the body, and hence not solely the mind, is a thinking thing. The experiments and conclusions of Libet et al. have attracted considerable academic attention and have been used in the development of psychological theories on automotivism and the adaptive unconscious. Moreover, they have engendered a series of important considerations in respect of the question of free will. This paper outlines the connections between the findings of Libet et al. and Merleau-Ponty's ontology as presented in the Phenomenology of Perception (1945/1962). It is not our intention to argue that the former amounts to new wine in old bottles, but rather to show counterfactually (since we offer no new scientific data and assume the conclusions of the experiments) that Merleau-Ponty's ontology provides a theoretical framework which explains the experimental data obtained by Libet et al., and provides further speculative confirmation of the work stemming from neuro-physical research and emerging theories on the adaptive unconscious.


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pdf.png Husserl, Heidegger, and the Transcendental Dimension of Phenomenology - By Archana Barua  

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Understanding phenomenology as a philosophical approach in which human-world relationships are analysed, as well as the constitution of subjectivity and objectivity within these relationships, this paper addresses some issues related to the transcendental dimension in the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl. An attempt is also made to re-address some issues related to phenomenology and its transcendental dimension as understood by adherents of hermeneutical phenomenology such as Paul Ricoeur. In essence, the focus of the paper is on exploring the following issues: what is this transcendental turn in Husserl's philosophy? Is this an ‘unfortunate turn' toward a neo-Kantian brand of transcendental idealism? What is the significance of this transcendental dimension in Husserl's phenomenology? Is there any distinctive phenomenological programme that, despite their differences, is common to both Husserl and Heidegger? This line of questioning proceeds from the observations made by Paul Ricoeur that, "with the development of his ‘hermeneutics of facticity', Heidegger rejected Husserl's neo-Kantian brand of transcendental phenomenology in favour of a de-transcendental and historicized way of doing philosophy, that Heidegger understood the subject to be ‘factic', in contrast to Husserl's pure ego as the source of the world constitution"(Hahn, 1995). Ultimately, however, the thrust of this exploration is towards understanding the transcendental way of doing philosophy and the so-called historicized way of philosophizing as two distinct ways to reach one common goal, the transcendental dimension of meaning.


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pdf.png Natural and Supernatural: Intersections between the Spiritual and Natural Worlds in African Witchcraft and Healing with reference to Southern Africa - By Theodore Petrus and David Bogopa  

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For generations, African beliefs and practices regarding witchcraft and traditional healing have been located at the intersection between the natural world and the supernatural world. Despite the impact of both colonialism and, in the contemporary context, modernization, the complex interplay between these worlds has not been reduced. The interaction between nature and religion, as a facet of culture, has long been a subject of inquiry in anthropology, and nowhere is this more evident than in the study of African witchcraft and traditional healing. A distinct relationship exists between witchcraft beliefs and traditional healing methods. This relationship brings these two aspects of African culture together in such a complex manner that it is difficult to attempt to understand the dynamics of African witchcraft without referring to traditional healing methods, and vice versa. In this paper, the authors outline the various ways in which African witchcraft beliefs and practices, as well as traditional healing beliefs and practices, interact within the nature/culture domain. This interaction will be conceptualised in a Merleau-Pontian sense, focusing on the indeterminacy of the natural and supernatural worlds. In its presentation of an essentially anthropological case study focused on southern Africa, the paper draws on various ethnographic examples of African communities in the southern African context.


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pdf.png BOOK REVIEW (by Rex van Vuuren) - Psychotherapy and Phenomenology  

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Ian Rory Owen (2006). Psychotherapy and Phenomenology: On Freud, Husserl and Heidegger. New York: iUniverse.
(ISBN: 13: 978 0 59541 752 0)
Soft Cover (352 pages)


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