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Depression as unhomelike being-in-the-world? Phenomenology's challenge to our understanding of illness

journal contribution
posted on 2013-02-01, 00:00 authored by Tamara BrowneTamara Browne, F Iqbal
Fredrik Svenaeus has applied Heidegger's concept of 'being-in-the-world' to health and illness. Health, Svenaeus contends, is a state of 'homelike being-in-the-world' characterised by being 'balanced' and 'in-tune' with the world. Illness, on the other hand, is a state of 'unhomelike being-in-the-world' characterised by being 'off-balance' and alienated from our own bodies. This paper applies the phenomenological concepts presented by Svenaeus to cases from a study of depression. In doing so, we show that while they can certainly enrich our understanding of depression, they can also reveal a clash between some societal definitions of illness and the individual's definition. Phenomenological analysis may thus cause us to question what we mean, or think should be meant, by the terms 'health' and 'illness'.

History

Journal

Medicine, health care and philosophy

Volume

16

Issue

1

Pagination

31 - 39

Publisher

Springer

Location

Berlin, Germany

eISSN

1572-8633

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2012, Springer