Introduction: Understanding, explaining, and intersubjectivity in schizophrenia

This article provides an introduction to a special issue of the journal Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology, On Understanding and Explaining Schizophrenia. The article identifies a common thread running through the different contributions to this special issue, inspired by Jaspers's (1963) suggestion that a profound impairment in the ability to engage in interpersonal and social relations is a key factor in psychiatric disorders. It is argued that this suggestion can help solve a central dilemma in psychopathology, which is to make intelligible the emergence and nature of psychiatric phenomena involving disturbances of rationality, intentionality and self-consciousness, whilst at the same time accounting for a sense in which such phenomena resist understanding.
Keywords Explanation  Intersubjectivity  Pathology  Schizophrenia  Science
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DOI 10.1353/ppp.2001.0010
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