Vers une phenomenologie husserlienne des etapes initiales de la schizophrenie

Translated title of the contribution: Towards a husserlian phenomenology of the onset of schizophrenia

O. P. Wiggins, M. A. Schwartz, G. Northoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Husserl's phenomenology provides basic concepts of normal mental life in the light of which schizophrenic experience can be better understood. Husserl's distinction of intentional syntheses into automatic (passive) and active kinds leads to a further distinction between an individual mental life as a whole and the ego who lives and acts in that mental life. Relevant here in Husserl's phenomenology of the synthetic unification of mental life itself that is automatically achieved through inner temporality (Zeitbewusstsein). These notions will allow us to clarify further the profound disturbances of self and world which are so frequently encountered in schizophrenia. The earliest phase of schizophrenia, the phase of the 'delusional mood', is then explicated in Husserlian terms. Pervasive in this phase is a severe weakening of the normal intentive syntheses of mental life. The self of the schizophrenic experiences itself as at the center of a bewildering, confusing, and dubious transformation of itself and of its world. The unity of the self splinters, and the identity of objects and the networks among objects grow disordered. The most basic factures of the world and of the self become deeply strange and opaque. Because the syntheses which constitute a continuous and unitary self have become seriously weakened, the self disintegrates and begins to be experienced as conjoined with aspects of the non-self. The automatic processes of mental life no longer sufficiently constitute wordly objects or the self, and thus the ego must actively thematize and devote itself to topics that could normally be taken for granted. This need to actively (egoically) constitute what could normally be passively (non-egoically) constituted finally overwhelms the ego. The ego thus grows extremely weak or withdraws into its own self-constituted world, or both. Finally we discuss the conative dysfunction of the ego it experiences its own strivings and projects as determined less by itself and more by the 'other', the non-ego - whether this determining 'other' be a thing or a person.

Translated title of the contributionTowards a husserlian phenomenology of the onset of schizophrenia
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)299-313
Number of pages15
JournalEvolution Psychiatrique
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • conation
  • delusional mood
  • Husserl
  • intentionality
  • schizophrenia
  • self weakness
  • synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • History
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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