Depression as existential feeling or de-situatedness? Distinguishing structure from mode in psychopathology

Authors
Anthony Vincent Fernandez
Kent State University
Abstract
In this paper I offer an alternative phenomenological account of depression as consisting of a degradation of the degree to which one is situated in and attuned to the world. This account contrasts with recent accounts of depression offered by Matthew Ratcliffe and others. Ratcliffe develops an account in which depression is understood in terms of deep moods, or existential feelings, such as guilt or hopelessness. Such moods are capable of limiting the kinds of significance and meaning that one can come across in the world. I argue that Ratcliffe’s account is unnecessarily constrained, making sense of the experience of depression by appealing only to changes in the mode of human existence. Drawing on Merleau-Ponty’s critique of traditional transcendental phenomenology, I show that many cases of severe psychiatric disorders are best understood as changes in the very structure of human existence, rather than changes in the mode of human existence. Working in this vein, I argue that we can make better sense of many first-person reports of the experience of depression by appealing to a loss or degradation of the degree to which one is situated in and attuned to the world, rather than attempting to make sense of depression as a particular mode of being situated and attuned. Finally, I argue that drawing distinctions between disorders of structure and mode will allow us to improve upon the currently heterogeneous categories of disorder offered in the DSM-5
Keywords Phenomenology  Psychiatry  Depression  Matthew Ratcliffe  Maurice Merleau-Ponty  Martin Heidegger
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11097-014-9374-y
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

How the Body Shapes the Mind.Shaun Gallagher - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
Temporality and Psychopathology.Thomas Fuchs - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (1):75-104.
Being and Time.Ronald W. Hepburn, Martin Heidegger, John Macquarrie & Edward Robinson - 1964 - Philosophical Quarterly 14 (56):276.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Getting Stuck: Temporal Desituatedness in Depression.Michelle Maiese - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 17 (4):701-718.
A Critical Examination of Existential Feeling.Jussi A. Saarinen - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 17 (2):363-374.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Varieties of Temporal Experience in Depression.M. Ratcliffe - 2012 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 37 (2):114-138.
The Phenomenology of Depression and the Nature of Empathy.Matthew Ratcliffe - 2014 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 17 (2):269-280.
What is It to Lose Hope?Matthew Ratcliffe - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (4):597-614.
Depression, Guilt and Emotional Depth.Matthew Ratcliffe - 2010 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 53 (6):602-626.
Evolutionary Psychiatry and Depression: Testing Two Hypotheses.Somogy Varga - 2012 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (1):41-52.
Depression Affecting Moral Judgment.Luisa Terroni & Renerio Fraguas - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):352-352.
Depression and Motivation.Benedict Smith - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (4):615-635.
Melancholic Epistemology.George Graham - 1990 - Synthese 82 (3):399-422.
Introduction Emotional Experience in Depression.Matthew Ratcliffe & S. Varga - 2013 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (7-8):7-8.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-06-19

Total downloads
96 ( #67,242 of 2,293,829 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
40 ( #9,911 of 2,293,829 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature