Psychopathological Consequences

  • Petr Kouba
Part of the Contributions To Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 75)


As long as the preceding chapter has pointed out new thematic possibilities of the ontological analysis, the aim of the following chapter is to make use of these possibilities in the area of psychopathology. Suffering conditioned by the temporal disintegration of the self and accompanied by the collapse of the order of experience needs to be illustrated on concrete clinical studies. For the sake of such exemplification, some case studies presented by Binswanger, Blankenburg and Laing are analyzed; they provide a material that is reinterpreted by the post-existential analysis. In this way we arrive at a new understanding of hebephrenic schizophrenia, paranoid schizophrenia or schizoid personality disorder. All these pathological states are understood not as privative forms of existence related to some normative ideal, but as positive phenomena which have their own logic. Yet, this is not to say that they are advantageous or enviable. Quite on the contrary, the suffering that speaks through the psychopathological phenomena is even more terrible if seen in its own light, and not from the perspective of some normative ideal. Since suffering is connected with the very finitude of human existence, it cannot be simply eradicated from human life. It can be only alleviated, but the temporal rupture from which the human existence suffers can never be healed. And it is precisely this rupture that ontologically enables mental disorder as well as oldness that inseparably belongs to the finitude of human existence, even though Heidegger does not pay any attention to this phenomenon.


Suffering Mental disorder Finitude of human existence Oldness 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petr Kouba
    • 1
  1. 1.Philosophical Institute of the Czech Academy of SciencesCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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