J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2011 Mar;50(2):97-115.

Phenomenological Psychopathology

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. kangug@snu.ac.kr

Abstract

Phenomenology was founded in the 19th century by Edmund Husserl. Apart from natural sciences and metaphysics, phenomenology is presented as a rigorous scientific discipline, which aims to provide an understanding of the subjective experiences of human beings. After the eras of descriptive and dynamic psychiatry, phenomenological methods were adopted by psychiatry, and phenomenological psychopathology suggested a new perspective for understanding the pathological experiences of psychiatric patients. However, after the development of psychopharmacology and the operational diagnostic system, the center of phenomenology in psychopathology was moved from comprehensive understanding to simple description. Thus, phenomenological psychopathology in its original meaning did not get remarkable repercussions, especially in the English-speaking world. In this article, some major concepts of phenomenology will be briefly presented and then phenomenological psychopathology in its original meaning will be introduced. Secondly, as an example of its application, symptoms of schizophrenia will be interpreted in terms of phenomenological psychopathology. Finally, the authors will present a neurobiological interpretation of the phenomenological psychopathology of schizophrenia and suggest a possible role of phenomenological psychopathology in mitigating the impasse in psychiatric genetics research.

Keyword

Phenomenology; Phenomenological psychopathology; Schizophrenia; Ipseity; Common sense; Gestalt circle; Basic symptoms; Neurobiology

MeSH Terms

Humans
Metaphysics
Natural Science Disciplines
Neurobiology
Psychopathology
Psychopharmacology
Schizophrenia
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