Phenomenology and Related Areas of Continental Philosophy


Phenomenology and related areas of Continental Philosophy nicely complement analytic philosophy through their close engagement with experience.

Phenomenology was and remains important particularly in mental health but has a growing significance also in other areas of health care.

Mental Health

Recent examples of detailed phenomenological work providing important content for values-based practice in mental health include the Italian psychiatrist and philosopher Giovanni Stanghellini’s studies of the experiences of people with schizophrenia, and the British (now Vienna-based) philosopher, Matthew Ratcliffe’s corresponding work on depression.

Importantly for the co-production of values-based practice, both authors frame their work in the shared world of everyday experience rather than ‘the other’ of much traditional psychopathology.

disembodied spirits and deanimated bodiesfeelins of being
Stanghellini, G. (2004) Deanimated bodies
and disembodied spirits: essays on
the psychopathology of common sense.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ratcliffe, M. (2008) Feelings of Being:
Phenomenology, psychiatry and the sense
of reality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Other Areas of Healthcare

The extension of values-based practice from mental health into other areas of healthcare draws similarly on phenomenological work on the experience of physical illness.

The power of combining personal experience with phenomenological expertise is illustrated by the work of the British phenomenologist Havi Carel.

Carel, H (2008) Illness (Art of Living). Durham, England: Acumen Publishing. Second Edition (2013) Illness: The Cry of the Flesh (The Art of Living)

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