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Proceedings of the Spring School 2019, “Psychiatry and Phenomenology” (June 2019)

Guest Editors

  • Elisabetta Lalumera (University of Milano-Bicocca)
  • Marta Boniardi (Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan)

As a method for thinking how things are present to us, independently of their reality, phenomenology has always been an ally to psychiatry, as a framework for understanding or defining abnormal mental experiences and pathologies. In the past, the work of authors such as Karl Jaspers, Eugène Minkowski and Ludwig Binswanger provided the very foundations of the discipline in Europe. In recent years, the phenomenological approach to psychopathology has regained center stage in philosophy and in scientific psychiatric research both in Europe and the Anglo-american community, for it provides an alternative to, or a complement for, physicalistic and third-person perspective accounts of mental disorders. Contemporary research topics in phenomenological psychiatry include, among others, accounts of schizophrenia, depression, dementia, identity disorders, the embodied dimensions of experience, and the relation between first-person perspectives and neuroscientific evidence. The Spring School “Psychiatry and Phenomenology” will feature, as invited speakers, leading philosophers and psychiatrists working within the phenomenological approach. We also invite submissions by graduate and PhD students, postdocs and experienced researchers on any topic related with the School main theme

Invited papers include:

Francesco Benedetti, Cristina Colombo, Thomas Fuchs, Kenneth Fulford, Laurence Kirmayer, Giovanni Stanghellini

Publication Date: July 2020

Human Reproduction and Parental Responsibility: Theories, Narratives, Ethics  

Guest Editors: 

  • Simona Corso (University of Roma Tre)
  • Florian Mussgnug (University College London)
  • Virginia Sanchini (Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, University of Milan)

Advances in reproductive technologies have profoundly altered the demarcations of parenthood and have shown up the stark limitations of conventional perspectives on parental rights and responsibilities. New possibilities of both biological and social parenthood call for correspondingly diverse and imaginative philosophical, ethical, and legal frameworks. Anthropogenic climate change also demands a radical re-orientation of reproductive ethics and values and raises urgent and uncomfortable questions about population growth and uncontrolled human procreation. In this context, literature and the arts may shed light on the complex and changing emotions and experiences of parenting, allowing us to move beyond paradigmatic parental experiences. Creative critical responses to new reproductive technologies may also bring into focus a variety of philosophical and religious perspectives, and draw attention to global patterns of inequality and cultural difference.

Invited papers include:

Rachel Bowlby, Simona Corso, Carmen Dell'Aversano, Roberto Mordacci, Florian Mussgnug, Laura Palazzani, Aarathi Prasad, Maria Russo, Virginia Sanchini, James Wilson.

Publication Date: December 2020

Digital Identities, Digital Ways of Living: Philosophical Analyses 

Guest Editors

  • Greta Favara (Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan)
  • Nicole Miglio (Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan)

The massive use of digital technologies today and the way they are prominently taking part in several of our everyday activities makes a philosophical reflection on this phenomenon particularly needed. Indeed, digital technologies are not just facilitating accomplishing several different tasks – from tracking our physical activities, to finding the right directions while driving, to communicating with others. Such technologies are also shaping and re-defining the way in which we make our activities and conceive our lives, while also affecting the sense of our identities and ourselves.

Let us think, for instance, to the way the constitution and the evolution of our personal, embodied and gender identity can be affected by the usage of social networks and, for instance, by the massive role of pictures on the social media (Facebook, Instagram, twitter etc.) or by profiling mechanisms used by some online platforms. Let us also consider the way language and communication acquire new forms on the web and can even have more relevance than before based on the augmented possibilities of fruition by web-users. Moreover, we should not forget the crucial way in which the usage of digital technologies is transforming the political identities of citizens, the forms of their participation in the public life, and the structures of collective political subjects and institutions (parties, parliaments, states).

This special issue will feature three Sections, each of whom is dedicated to a specific topic of interest in the philosophical debate about digital technologies and digital identities: 

- Personal Identities – Digital Minds, Bodies and Persons;

- Language and Mind – Social Media and Identity Construction;

- Ethical and Political Implications of Digital Technologies.

Invited papers include: 

Helena De Preester, Jose Luís Martí, Damiano Palano, Viviana Patti.

Publication date: July 2021

Phenomenology of Social Impairments 

Guest Editors:

  • Valeria Bizzari (University of Heidelberg, Clinic for General Psychiatry, Section Phenomenological Psychopathology and Psychotherapy);
  • Oren Bader (University of Heidelberg, Clinic for General Psychiatry, Section Phenomenological Psychopathology and Psychotherapy);
  • Thomas Fuchs (University of Heidelberg, Clinic for General Psychiatry, Section Phenomenological Psychopathology and Psychotherapy).

Following a workshop entitled: “Phenomenology of Social Impairments” (Heidelberg, July 2nd  2019), this special issue of Phenomenology and Mind is dedicated to phenomenological instigations into disturbances of intersubjectivity in mental disorders. 

A growing body of clinical data and phenomenological insights indicates that mental disorders involve disturbances in the subject relation to other people and a loss of crucial social predispositions and affordances. These deficits seem to influence crucial aspects of the subject’s communal world that phenomenological analyses highlight, such as inter-affectivity, embodied intersubjectivity, collective intentionality, and emotional sharing. However, the nature and scope of these impairments in different mental disorders are not always sufficiently clear. The primary goal of this special issue is, therefore, to promote a systematic exploration of various intersubjective anomalies in mental disorders from a phenomenological perspective. We are particularly interested in papers that suggest phenomenological tools for the study of disturbances of intersubjectivity in specific pathologies, such as schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and autism spectrum disorders.      

Invited papers include: 

Anna Bortolan, Thomas Fuchs, Joel Krueger.

Publication date: December 2021