Emotions, Vulnerability, and a Therapy of Care

in Emotions and Personhood

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199660575
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191754784 | DOI:

Series: ippp (international perspectives in phlosophy and psychiatry)

Emotions, Vulnerability, and a Therapy of Care

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This final chapter attempts to clarify the philosophical and psychopathological results of our explorations. The fragile character of human personhood becomes evident in our emotional experience, which is both enmeshed in the sub-personal mechanisms of mammalian biology and informed by the particularly personal nature of human experience. While philosophy has provided the theoretical framework for an exploration of the fragility entailed by this ambivalence, psychopathology has helped us understand that vulnerability is not a question of malfunctioning, but a rather dramatic expression of the fragility inherent in being a human person. The ‘end-products’ (like ontologic delusions in persons with schizophrenia and ontic ones in borderline persons) are the results of the patients’ miscarried hermeneutics of their own self. The chapter ends with a brief outline of a phenomenologically grounded clinical hermeneutic, a therapy of care, that can help these persons in their complicated task to make sense of their experience.

Chapter.  12360 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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