Call for Papers: Studia Phaenomenologica vol. 26 (2026): “Phenomenology and Psychopathology”

Editors: Françoise Dastur and Maria Gyemant

Argument: Phenomenology was conceived by Edmund Husserl as the rigorous and objective science of subjectivity. It aims to explore subjectivity in a way far more complete than empirical psychology could ever do since it does not describe merely the experience of an empirical subject, but the exhaustive sum of psychical potentialities belonging to the transcendental ego. Since phenomenology embraces all imaginable subjective experience, one can wonder what it can say about the particular sort of phenomena whose eruption in the life of the subject creates effects that seem to elude all descriptions: the pathological experience. In other words, is an experience that can altogether destroy the unity of the subject—abolishing the prospect of grasping one’s own experience through reflective consciousness—still a phenomenological experience, one among the various possibilities of the transcendental ego? Psychopathological phenomena, if taken seriously in all their radicality, can thus raise a particularly interesting question for phenomenology, testing its limits. To this challenge, psychiatry and psychoanalysis are both invited to contribute, since their respective approaches are based on direct contact with the clinical aspect of psychopathology, providing thus a particular take on the subjective experience and its limits.

Historically, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and phenomenology have already been corroborated in a coherent theory assorted with its particular therapeutical practice: the Daseinsanalyse. Inspired both by Freud’s discovery of the unconscious and by Husserl and Heidegger’s phenomenological understanding of the subjective experience, psychiatrists like Eugène Minkowski in France, Ludwig Binswanger, and Medard Boss in Switzerland promoted a radically original, phenomenologically oriented approach to psychiatry. Today, psychiatry and psychoanalysis have taken separate roads. Yet, they both keep alive the dialogue with phenomenology, as we can see it, for instance, in the psychoanalytical works of Lacan, where the reference to Husserl and Heidegger is prominent, as well as in the new tendency of certain branches of psychiatry (represented for instance by Thomas Fuchs, Jerôme Englebert, or Michelle Gennart) to consider more and more seriously the first person experience of their patients, pointing out the therapeutical value in the phenomenological approach of mental illness.

Questioning psychopathology from a phenomenological point of view has become today one of the most fruitful ways for phenomenology to preserve itself as a living philosophy (as we can see in the works of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Michel Henry, Henry Maldiney, and more recently Françoise Dastur, Philippe Cabestan, Marc Richir, Rudolf Bernet, and Guy-Félix Duportail). The 2026 issue of Studia Phaenomenologica invites potential contributors to also consider the issue from a different perspective. If psychiatry and psychoanalysis are communicating today less and less, we invite researchers to consider both the reasons for this separation as well as their possible reconciliation along the lines of their respective historical and renewed interest in phenomenology. Can psychoanalysis and psychiatry be once again united in a new approach to psychopathology? To what extent is their treatment of different types of psychopathologies with different methods an obstacle to this dialogue? And more importantly, could phenomenology constitute the common ground on which psychoanalysis and psychiatry could not only share, compare and test their results but also obtain a better understanding of the lived experience and the concepts that describe it phenomenologically? We invite potential contributors to reflect upon these issues along the following general lines:

  • Phenomenological, psychoanalytical, and psychiatric dimensions of Daseinsanalyse
  • Phenomenological influences shared by psychoanalysis and psychiatry
  • Compatibility and opposition between psychoanalysis and psychiatry from a phenomenological point of view
  • First-person experience in phenomenology, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis
  • Pathology and normality in phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and psychiatry
  • Daseinsanalyse and the therapeutical use of phenomenology in psychoanalysis and psychiatry today
  • Possibility and impossibility of a phenomenological description of the psychopathological experience

Deadline: March 30, 2025

Submission Guidelineshttps://zetabooks.com/library/journals/studia-phaenomenologica/

Contact: The papers should be sent to submissions@phenomenology.ro (subject title: Studia Phaenomenologica 2026).

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