1st Edition

The Power of Phenomenology Psychoanalytic and Philosophical Perspectives

    152 Pages
    by Routledge

    152 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Power of Phenomenology took form when the two authors realized that a single theme has run through the course of their almost half-century-long collaboration like a red thread—namely, the power of phenomenological inquiry and understanding in a wide range of contexts.

    This book demonstrates how they have experienced the power of phenomenology in their therapeutic work with patients, especially those struggling with horrific trauma; in their encounters with psychological and philosophical theories; and in their efforts to comprehend destructive ideologies and the collective traumas that give rise to them. The Power of Phenomenology presents the trajectory of this work. Each chapter begins with a contribution written by one or both authors, extending the power of phenomenological inquiry to one or more of these diverse contexts. The contributions are followed, one or two at a time, by a dialogue between the authors, illustrating the dialectical process of their long collaboration. The unusual format seeks to bring the phenomenology of their collaborative efforts to life for the reader.

    The Power of Phenomenology will appeal to psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic psychotherapists and scholars of philosophy.

    Preface CHAPTER 1: The Phenomenological Circle and the Unity of Life and Thought CHAPTER 2: Seeds of Psychoanalytic Phenomenology: A Formative Clinical Experience CHAPTER 3: Credo—Phenomenological Explorations and Reflections CHAPTER 4: Credo—Intersubjective-Systems Theory: A Phenomenological-Contextualist Perspective CHAPTER 5: Emotional Disturbance, Trauma, and Authenticity: A Phenomenological-Contextualist Perspective CHAPTER 6: The Phenomenology of Language and the Metaphysicalizing of the Real CHAPTER 7: Experiencing Selfhood Is Not "a Self" CHAPTER 8: Phenomenology and Metaphysical Realism CHAPTER 9: Phenomenological Contextualism and the Finitude of Knowing CHAPTER 10: Walking the Tightrope of Emotional Dwelling CHAPTER 11: There Must Be Blood: The Price of Emotional Dwelling CHAPTER 12: Concluding Dialogue


    Robert D. Stolorow is a Founding Member at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles, USA. He is the author of World, Affectivity, Trauma: Heidegger and Post-Cartesian Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2011) and Trauma and Human Existence: Autobiographical, Psychoanalytic, and Philosophical Reflections (Routledge, 2007) and co-author of eight other books.

    George E. Atwood is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University and a Founding Member of Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, New York, USA. He is the author of The Abyss of Madness (Routledge, 2011) and co-author of 7 other books with Robert D. Stolorow. Both he and Stolorow have been absorbed for nearly five decades in the project of rethinking psychoanalysis as a form of phenomenological inquiry.

    "Drawing on nearly half a century of collaboration together, George Atwood and Robert Stolorow continue their pioneering work in psychoanalytic phenomenology. Drawing on extensive case histories and a wealth of professional and personal experience, the authors not only illuminate the intersubjective meanings of psychopathology but make it clear that understanding human suffering is possible only insofar as it is embedded in the context of a life-world. The book is a must read for anyone working at the intersections of phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and psychiatry."-Kevin Aho, Professor and Chair of Philosophy, Florida Gulf Coast University; editor of Existential Medicine: Essays on Health and Illness

    "The Power of Phenomenology illustrates the depth and range of Stolorow and Atwood’s writings over a fifty-year period. The unique combination of detailed discussion and lively dialogue makes this a richly rewarding book. Stolorow and Atwood show how psychoanalysis and phenomenology shape our understanding and enliven our experience. Their accounts of trauma and madness, intersubjectivity and human connectedness, demonstrate the veracity of their ideas and their place as pivotal figures in the evolution of contemporary psychoanalysis."-Roger Frie, PhD, PsyD, Professor, Simon Fraser University and University of British Columbia; Co-Editor, Psychoanalysis, Self and Context

    "By way of chapters and sections that are themselves a mix of research, dialogue, critical reflection, sharing of personal and professional experiences, and brilliant speculative analysis and insight, the authors have written a much-needed and deeply honest book on the intersection of psychoanalysis and philosophy. " -Susanne Claxton, Springer Nature