1st Edition

The Psychology and Philosophy of Eugene Gendlin Making Sense of Contemporary Experience

Edited By Eric R. Severson, Kevin C. Krycka Copyright 2023
    252 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    252 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book brings together a collection of essays written by scholars inspired by Eugene Gendlin’s work, particularly those interested in thinking with and beyond Gendlin for the sake of a global community facing significant crises.

    The contributors take inspiration from Gendlin’s philosophy of the implicit, and his theoretical approach to psychology. The essays engage with Gendlin’s ideas for our era, including critiques and corrections as well as extrapolations of his work. Gendlin himself worried that knowing about a problem is too often conflated with actions that might lead to change; the essays in this book point to a form of understanding that is activated, an embodied and immediate way of thinking about today’s problems. Throughout the volume, the contributors creatively engage with Gendlin’s work and its applicability to the complex, pressing crises of our time: the Covid-19 pandemic, environmental/climate issues, racism, sexism, economic inequality, and other factors threatening human persons and communities.

    Gendlin’s theoretical approach to psychology is naturally interdisciplinary, making this book an essential read for anyone interested in moving to the boundaries where psychology meets philosophy, theology, art, environmental studies, science, technology, and much more.


    Kevin Krycka and Eric R. Severson

    1. Starting from Experience, and Knowing When You Do

    Robert C. Scharff

    2. Where is Emotion? Gendlin's Radical Answer

    Edward S. Casey

    3. Is Responsibility Implicit?

    Eric R. Severson

    4. The Experiencing Model: Saying What We Mean in the Context of Focusing and Psychotherapy

    Akira Ikemi, Shimpei Okamura and Hideo Tanaka

    5. The Responsive Order, Oppressive Order, and Disorder in Human Growth: Challenging and Carrying Forward Postmodernism

    Robin R. Chalfin

    6. Liberating language: Gendlin and Nietzsche on the refreshing power of metaphors

    Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir

    7. Missing the Felt Sense: When Correct Political Arguments Go Wrong

    Ole Sandberg

    8. Towards a Concept of "Freedom to Make Sense"

    Donata Schoeller

    9. Kangaroo Know-how: Animal practices from the perspective of implying

    Greg Walkerden

    10. Is an Intricate Institution a Paradox or an Oxymoron? Gendlin's Political Optimism, the Formal Limitations of Politics, and the Relevance of Activity Theory

    Riley Paterson

    11. Epilogue: Showing How he Means - Thinking Along with Gene Gendlin

    Robert Fox


    Eric R. Severson is a philosopher specializing in the work of Emmanuel Levinas. He has edited several other Routledge volumes, including Race, Rage, and Resistance (2019), Memories and Monsters (2017), and The Ethical Turn (2016). Severson is also the author or editor of seven other books. He teaches philosophy at Seattle University, USA and lives in nearby Kenmore, Washington.

    Kevin C. Krycka is a professor of psychology and associate dean for Social Sciences and Graduate programs at Seattle University, USA. He has authored over 20 articles and book chapters extending Gendlin’s philosophical and psychological works in the areas of psychotherapy and qualitative research. He was the inaugural chair of the Gendlin Research Center and continues as a member of its board.