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Lecture 10

PSY230H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Ludwig Binswanger, Medard Boss, Otto Binswanger


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY230H1
Professor
Maja Djikic
Lecture
10

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PSY230H1F L10; Nov. 16, 2011
1 in 2 ppl will qualify for a mental illness at some
pt in their life
Mental illness = inability to participate in life to be
satisfied
Addiction = anything that makes pain feel better
Don’t want to be in pain – distract w media, drugs
Being in love w suffering – feel more entitled to
things, want empathy; ex. wanting to be sick for
attention
According to existentialism – suffer because don’t
do what we need to do, in love w suffering, lazy
Associate +ve contact w suffering
Inevitable to have at least a little pleasure
w suffering, difference is if it’s important for
others to see it
Existentialism
Philosophy
Renaissance: have meaning once born depending
on class, family, culture
After enlightenment: more freedom
Thought problems could be solved thru
reasoning
Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
Criticized heavily intellectualized philosophy of
Hegel
Believed human existence not accurately
represented if leave out emotional side
Movement advanced w
Nietzsche (1844-1900)
Jaspers (1883-1969)
Heidegger (1889-1976)
Sartre (1905-1980)
Alienation
Hegel argued things humans create can have “a
life of their own.”
Humans alienated from own creations
Very common, very old idea
Ppl w no feedback from job = most
depressed – middlemen, don’t produce
anything; need connection w job to feel
satisfaction, ex. middlemen for doctors
w/o borders
Priests, psychs, firefighters = happy, see
results
Kierkegaard
Indivs alienated from their faith
Going to church automatically, don’t
keep values outside
Nietzsche
Philosophers/Indivs alienated from their
reasoning capacities
Teacher could live at odds w their
teachings, discrediting – objectively
think right
Heidegger
Words can be alienated from meanings they
are supposed to convey so people can twist
things to suit themselves in violation of
what’s known in immediate experience –
can deceive ourselves too
Sartre
Psychology alienated from its subject matter
because, rather than capturing phenomenal
reality in its theories, has turned human
beings into machines
Want ppl to fulfill expectations in psych
studies
Grp pressures (like national identities)
interfere w our identities on own
Authenticity
Kierkegaard
Become inauthentic by letting grp or culture
define who we are (self-alienation)
Nietzsche
Will to power as person’s fundamental
capacity to be self-creative & therefore
authentic (real, genuine, etc.)
As long as base lives on what we are, think,
feel, desire – can’t be self-alienated or
estranged
Guilt = feeling when don’t assume
responsibility for our actions but let others
define who we are
Ex. blame middlemen
Jaspers
Opposition btwn authentic & inauthentic
living
Dasein (being-there) vs. being oneself
Existing at organic material vs really
being there as self
Only indiv effort can bring about being
oneself
Heidegger ~ Maslow, Rogers
Authenticity = fulfilling one’s possibilities
Our possibilities not unlimited, like decision
tree – dif choices open to dif opportunities,
have access the best choice; if don’t choose
best choice feel pang of suffering
Authentic person synthesizes imposed &
self-willed to reach pattern of existence
uniquely theirs
Subject vs. object – being organic matter vs.
person
Kierkegaard
A person who lives inauthentically (lets
others define their identity) begins to think
of that identity as an object & not as a
subject
When compare self to others, ex. giving
marks
Can use to make self feel better than
others

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Ex. if intelligence important to you,
compare ppl based on intelligence –
treat self & others as objects
Giving up objectifying lose awareness of
your unique potentiality
Objects = passive, factually described,
manipulated, put in their place
Subjective in human experience = creative
side of life, desire to create in our life that
which is a mere possibility
Jaspers
Error in letting science define who we are
Science levels everything into a common
form of description & analysis, confounding
being-there & being-oneself
We should transcend mere objectivity &
think of ourselves subjectively
Heidegger
Inauthentic form of existence:
Results when consider each other to be
objects rather than subjects
= nothingness.
To objectivist, person = ‘anyone’,
‘everyman’, ‘plastic person’
Commitment, Action
Takes active effort to become subjective person
Kierkegaard
“To be human is not a fact, but a task.”
Nietzsche
Must leap into life w passion & sense of
commitment to what we’re bringing about
Reason & emotion are not antithetical, has
its uses
When we are alive we will feel alive
Suffering – feel alive
Reason to use drugs, media – don’t feel
alive
Jaspers
Wise person doesn’t automatically reject all
that has gone before, but subjectively
establishes correct principles to live by
Heidegger
Some ppl run away from need to make
decisions by feeling into mass movement &
other popular fads
Grp responsibility feel better
Sartre
Self-deception of fleeing from choice is
bad faith” – not fulfilling possibilities
opened to us in life
Ex. listening to parents when tell you to
become doctor
There is no escape from the predicament of
having to be
Feeling sadness during mourning, can’t
just exercise the problem away
Can’t escape making choices
Anxiety, Dread, Despair (form of depression)
Existentialists use words like anxiety, dread,
despair to describe inauthentic living
Nietzche
Anxiety = result of negating or refusing ‘will
to power’
Kierkegaard
Anxiety = “sickness unto death”, resulting
from self-alienation (inauthenticity)
Heidegger
Anxiety reflects nothingness, manifesting
itself as many things, including boredom
What is good about there being anxiety, dread,
despair?
Signalling mechanism to show when not
yourself & not fulfilling potential–
motivational
Using drugs distract from acting on
these feelings
Capacity to focus us in present on what we
really want
Give hope
Existentialism as applied to psychology
Used to push ppl to move past problems
Often thinking about death focuses ppl
Existential Analysis: Ludwig Binswanger &
Medard Boss
Both:
Swiss, M.D.s
Heideggerian in philosophical outlook
Initially trained in classical psychoanalysis
Involved with ‘existential analysis’
Structural Constructs
Mind-body problem …
Binswanger noted that
The person “is & remains a unit”
Body & mind are two sides of same thing -
‘being’
Ontologically speaking – ‘mind-body’ problem
doesn’t exist at all
If existence viewed only in terms of material
existence, persons turned from subjects to
objects
From phenomenological perspective, we are our
experiences
Don’t have ideas about things – we are our
ideas
Binswanger
“What we perceive as ‘first & foremost’ not
impressions of taste, tone, smell or touch,
not even things or objects, but rather,
meanings.”
Has to do w goals & purposes
Only pursue things w meading
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Existence, being-in-the-world, Dasein
Synonymous
Being = central to existence, transcends in
importance all other qualities of experience,
such as color, size, weight of material
A lot of things we don’t notice so not part of
our world even tho out there
Hegel’s (and later Heidegger’s argument)
Explaining being-ness of a rock – not colour,
shape, weight (other things like it) – essence
Stripped of all qualities, would remain
nothing.
From this, Heidegger, like Hegel, concluded
nothingness & being closely related
What about being-ness of humans?
Would an essence of you survive if born in
dif culture w dif parents?
Believe yes.
Binswanger
Emphasized ways in which phenomenal
experience made possible or endowed w
meaning by human being’s most basic ways
of looking at&thinking about it
Boss disagreed
Emphasized meaning disclosed to human
being by existence – world gives meaning to
us
It is not how we look at existence that
matters, as how existence reveals itself to
us
Binswanger’s constructs
A priori ontological structure
Beginning frame of reference that person
has in coming at life
World designs
Basic assumptions about life
Various ways in which one can recognize
people’s basic presumptions
Dream, language, poetic imagination
Boss
Unhappy w Binswanger’s vision of how being-in-
the-world takes place
Didn’t think overriding abstraction that comes
before experience – said experience gives
meaning
Viewed life as if constantly emerging or
disclosing itself under rays or torch or
flashlight
“The very word ‘phenomena’ is derived from
phainesthai , i.e., to shine forth, to appear, to
unveil itself, to come out of concealment or
darkness.”
Both Binswanger and Boss
Stressed importance of meaning to existence
Existence consists of being there that is always
immediate & ongoing
Binswanger
Being experienced in both spatial and temporal
sense
Essence that continues regardless of what
look like
Primary emphasis in the temporalization of
being is on its pitch toward future – goal-
oriented, looking forward
= Futurity – fact that human being always
frame their upcoming life in intentional
manner
Indiv s are “thrown” into existence (ex.
body, gender, culture, family)
Historicity being under constraints of our
physical & cultural heritage – things we can’t
change, not necessarily what we think the
constraints are
Doesn’t determine everything
Ex. Professor might seem successful but
might’ve come from rich family
Ex. Greater move forward by a homeless
person for simply being alive when had
drug-addicted parent, but like to think of
ourselves as better (but unhealthy)
Being = gestalt total consisting of 3
differentiated aspects or “worlds” (welts)
Eigenwelt
Self-world of inner feelings & affections,
including all experiences we think of as
w/i our bodies
Umwelt
Env t or world around us, including both
animate & inanimate features of
existence
Mitwelt
S ocial world , interpersonal world of ppl
as psychological, rather than physical
beings, including all we mean by society
– part of Umwelt
Boss thought world of Being = essentially
Mitwelt
Binswanger
Human being achieves greatest authenticity
thru actualizing potential & possibilities
Live inauthentically when we simply thrown by
circumstances & do not try to improve things
Boss warned how easy it is to fall prey to
anonymous, unauthentic mentality of tradition
or authoritarian tradition in hierarchy of social
power
Motivational Constructs
Since mind can’t be reduced to body, motivation
as a human experience w/i Being can’t be
reduced to physical energies or libidos (note to
Freud)
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