sábado, 7 de mayo de 2011

Anthropological psychiatry and philosophy of language



[Anthropologische psychiatrie und sprachphilosophie]


a Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (D), Halle, Germany
b Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, D-06097 Halle, Germany


Abstract

At the beginning of the 20th century psychiatry was dominated by scientists who were convinced that mental disorders were more or less exclusively the result of diseases of the brain. Amongst many others Theodor Meynert in Vienna and Carl Wernicke in Halle emphasised the importance of neuroanatomical and neuropathological research. However, this naturalistic view on mental disorders - "mental diseases are diseases of the brain", as Wilhelm Griesinger pointed out in 1845 - was reiteratively critisised. Based on Martin Heidegger's, Jean-Paul Sartre's and EdmundHusserl's philosophy, in the middle of the 20th century a phenomenological-anthropological school of psychiatry developed. In Germany, amongst others, Erwin Straus, Ludwig Binswanger, and Werner Blankenburg stood for this particular approach to psychological phenomena which emphasised the subjective experience, contrary to a more objectivising, natural sciences-based approach of psychiatry. Phenomenological psychiatry argues that natural science-based research in psychiatry neglects crucial aspects of human experience. This scientific approach is grounded on the accurate reconstruction of narratives, given by individuals. Today, there are few scientists defending phenomenological psychiatry, yet recently there have been several publications, e.g. by Thomas Fuchs, dealing with the so-called 'Leibphänomenologie'. Derived from a philosophical perspective, which points out the constitutive impact of language for creating reality, the article presents critical remarks on some aspects of the 'Leibphänomenologie', which is strongly influenced by the publications of MauriceMerleau-Ponty and Hermann Schmitz. Going back to Wilhelm von Humboldt, it was LudwigWittgenstein whose work coined the development of a philosophy of language, especially by the well-known Tractatus logico-philosophicus and Philosophische Untersuchungen. Nowadays it is for example Karl-Otto Apel who - in his Transcendental pragmatic - emphasises the crucial role of language in the constitution of reality. In spite of their differences, elaborated on in this paper, phenomenological psychiatry and the philosophy of language agree in their scepiticism towards an only natural sciences-based psychiatry. Passages of two texts by Thomas Fuchs (University of Heidelberg), Leib, Raum, Person and Psychopathologie von Leib und Raum, in which the relation of 'Leibphänomenologie' to some mental disorders is considered, are discussed in detail. It should become evident that to a large extent the vagueness of the language of anthropological psychiatry is the result of a penumbrous relation between language and reality in phenomenological philosophy. It will be demonstrated that a critical review of a science's language can be of benefit clarifying the relation between this science and its objects, and moreover possibly initiating new conceptual considerations.

Language of original document

German

Author keywords

Anthropological psychiatry; Linguistic turn; Phenomenology; Philosophy of language

Index Keywords

References (15) View in table layout


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