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Svenaeus, F. (2019). A Defense of the Phenomenological Account of Health and Illness. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 44(4), 459-478
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Defense of the Phenomenological Account of Health and Illness
2019 (English)In: Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, ISSN 0360-5310, E-ISSN 1744-5019, Vol. 44, no 4, p. 459-478Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A large slice of contemporary phenomenology of medicine has been devoted to developing an account of health and illness that proceeds from the first-person perspective when attempting to understand the ill person in contrast and connection to the third-person perspective on his/her diseased body. A proof that this phenomenological account of health and illness, represented by philosophers, such as Drew Leder, Kay Toombs, Havi Carel, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Kevin Aho, and Fredrik Svenaeus, is becoming increasingly influential in philosophy of medicine and medical ethics is the criticism of it that has been voiced in some recent studies. In this article, two such critical contributions, proceeding from radically different premises and backgrounds, are discussed: Jonathan Sholl's naturalistic critique and Talia Welsh's Nietzschean critique. The aim is to defend the phenomenological account and clear up misunderstandings about what it amounts to and what we should be able to expect from it.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2019
Keywords
Nietzsche, health, illness, naturalism, phenomenology
National Category
Philosophy Medical Ethics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-38683 (URN)10.1093/jmp/jhz013 (DOI)000493013600005 ()31356662 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85070753642 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-08-06 Created: 2019-08-06 Last updated: 2019-12-03Bibliographically approved
Svenaeus, F. (2019). To die well: the phenomenology of suffering and end of life ethics. Medicine, Health care and Philosophy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>To die well: the phenomenology of suffering and end of life ethics
2019 (English)In: Medicine, Health care and Philosophy, ISSN 1386-7423, E-ISSN 1572-8633Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The paper presents an account of suffering as a multi-level phenomenon based on concepts such as mood, being-in-the-world and core life value. This phenomenological account will better allow us to evaluate the hardships associated with dying and thereby assist health care professionals in helping persons to die in the best possible manner. Suffering consists not only in physical pain but in being unable to do basic things that are considered to bestow meaning on one's life. The suffering can also be related to no longer being able to be the person one wants to be in the eyes of others, to losing one's dignity and identity. These three types of suffering become articulated by a narrative that holds together and bestows meaning on the whole life and identity of the dying person. In the encounter with the patient, the health-care professional attempts to understand the suffering-experience of the patient in an empathic and dialogic manner, in addition to exploring what has gone wrong in the patient's body. Matters of physician assisted suicide and/or euthanasia-if it should be legalized and if so under which conditions-need to be addressed by understanding the different levels of human suffering and its positive counterpart, human flourishing, rather than stressing the respect for patient autonomy and no-harm principles, only. In this phenomenological analysis the notions of vulnerability and togetherness, ultimately connecting to the political-philosophical issues of how we live together and take care of each other in a community, need to be scrutinized.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019
Keywords
Dying, Euthanasia, Narrative, Palliative care, Phenomenology, Suffering
National Category
Medical Ethics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-38920 (URN)10.1007/s11019-019-09914-6 (DOI)31463881 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85072048862 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-09-06 Created: 2019-09-06 Last updated: 2019-09-25Bibliographically approved
Svenaeus, F. (2018). Edith Stein’s phenomenology of sensual and emotional empathy. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 17(4), 741-760
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Edith Stein’s phenomenology of sensual and emotional empathy
2018 (English)In: Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, ISSN 1568-7759, E-ISSN 1572-8676, Vol. 17, no 4, p. 741-760Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents and explicates the theory of empathy found in Edith Stein’s early philosophy, notably in the book On the Problem of Empathy, published in 1917, but also by proceeding from complementary thoughts on bodily intentionality and intersubjectivity found in Philosophy of Psychology and the Humanities published in 1922. In these works Stein puts forward an innovative and detailed theory of empathy, which is developed in the framework of a philosophical anthropology involving questions of psychophysical causality, social ontology and moral philosophy. Empathy, according to Stein, is a feeling-based experience of another person’s feeling that develops throughout three successive steps on two interrelated levels. The key to understanding the empathy process á la Stein is to explicate how the steps of empathy are attuned in nature, since the affective qualities provide the energy and logic by way of which the empathy process is not only inaugurated but also proceeds through the three steps and carries meaning on two different levels corresponding to two different types of empathy: sensual and emotional empathy. Stein’s theory has great potential for better understanding and moving beyond some major disagreements found in the contemporary empathy debate regarding, for instance, the relation between perception and simulation, the distinction between what is called low-level and high-level empathy, and the issue of how and in what sense it may be possible to share feelings in the empathy process. © 2017 The Author(s)

Keywords
Edith Stein, Empathy, Lived body, Phenomenology, Philosophy of emotion, Sympathy
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-33740 (URN)10.1007/s11097-017-9544-9 (DOI)000440136800006 ()2-s2.0-85033379823 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2017-11-24 Created: 2017-11-24 Last updated: 2018-08-27Bibliographically approved
Svenaeus, F. (2018). Heidegger’s Philosophy of Technology and the Perils of Medicalization (1ed.). In: Kevin Aho (Ed.), Existential Medicine: Essays on Health and Illness (pp. 131-144). London: Rowman & Littlefield International
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Heidegger’s Philosophy of Technology and the Perils of Medicalization
2018 (English)In: Existential Medicine: Essays on Health and Illness / [ed] Kevin Aho, London: Rowman & Littlefield International, 2018, 1, p. 131-144Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Rowman & Littlefield International, 2018 Edition: 1
Series
New Heidegger Research
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-37061 (URN)978-1-78660-483-5 (ISBN)
Available from: 2018-12-20 Created: 2018-12-20 Last updated: 2018-12-20Bibliographically approved
Hofmann, B. & Svenaeus, F. (2018). How medical technologies shape the experience of illness. Life, 14(1), Article ID 3.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How medical technologies shape the experience of illness
2018 (English)In: Life, ISSN 2195-7819, E-ISSN 2195-7819, Vol. 14, no 1, article id 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article we explore how diagnostic and therapeutic technologies shape the lived experiences of illness for patients. By analysing a wide range of examples, we identify six ways that technology can (trans)form the experience of illness (and health). First, technology may create awareness of disease by revealing asymptomatic signs or markers (imaging techniques, blood tests). Second, the technology can reveal risk factors for developing diseases (e.g., high blood pressure or genetic tests that reveal risks of falling ill in the future). Third, the technology can affect and change an already present illness experience (e.g., the way blood sugar measurement affects the perceived symptoms of diabetes). Fourth, therapeutic technologies may redefine our experiences of a certain condition as diseased rather than unfortunate (e.g. assisted reproductive technologies or symptom based diagnoses in psychiatry). Fifth, technology influences illness experiences through altering social-cultural norms and values regarding various diagnoses. Sixth, technology influences and changes our experiences of being healthy in contrast and relation to being diseased and ill. This typology of how technology forms illness and related conditions calls for reflection regarding the phenomenology of technology and health. How are medical technologies and their outcomes perceived and understood by patients? The phenomenological way of approaching illness as a lived, bodily being-in-the-world is an important approach for better understanding and evaluating the effects that medical technologies may have on our health, not only in defining, diagnosing, or treating diseases, but also in making us feel more vulnerable and less healthy in different regards.

Keywords
Disease, Illness, Phenomenology, Technology
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-34572 (URN)10.1186/s40504-018-0069-y (DOI)29397458 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85041428217 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-02-09 Created: 2018-02-09 Last updated: 2018-11-01Bibliographically approved
Svenaeus, F. (2018). Human Suffering and Psychiatric Diagnosis. Bioethica Forum, 11(1), 4-10
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Human Suffering and Psychiatric Diagnosis
2018 (English)In: Bioethica Forum, ISSN 1662-6001, E-ISSN 1662-601X, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 4-10Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article aims at investigating and specifying the form of suffering that is characteristic of mental illness in relation to other forms of human suffering, such as political suffering, existential suffering, and bad luck suffering. It does so by making use of a theoretical framework found in phenomenological philosophy, according to which the flourishing or suffering of a person can be understood as an attuned and embodied being-in-the-world in and through which a person aims to realize core life values made meaningful by way of a life narrative. The importance of such a phenomenological analysis lies in pointing towards how contemporary psychiatry needs to involve the life world and life narrative of the patient to make a reliable and valid diagnosis and how such a phenomenological diagnostic approach can act as a counter movement to unnecessary medicalization in psychiatry. 

Keywords
suffering, illness, psychiatry, phenomenology, medicalisation
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-37062 (URN)
Available from: 2018-12-20 Created: 2018-12-20 Last updated: 2018-12-20Bibliographically approved
Svenaeus, F. (2018). Phenomenology of pregnancy and the ethics of abortion. Medicine, Health care and Philosophy, 21(1), 77-87
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Phenomenology of pregnancy and the ethics of abortion
2018 (English)In: Medicine, Health care and Philosophy, ISSN 1386-7423, E-ISSN 1572-8633, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 77-87Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article I investigate the ways in which phenomenology could guide our views on the rights and/or wrongs of abortion. To my knowledge very few phenomenologists have directed their attention toward this issue, although quite a few have strived to better understand and articulate the strongly related themes of pregnancy and birth, most often in the context of feminist philosophy. After introducing the ethical and political contemporary debate concerning abortion, I introduce phenomenology in the context of medicine and the way phenomenologists have understood the human body to be lived and experienced by its owner. I then turn to the issue of pregnancy and discuss how the embryo or foetus could appear for us, particularly from the perspective of the pregnant woman, and what such showing up may mean from an ethical perspective. The way medical technology has changed the experience of pregnancy-for the pregnant woman as well as for the father and/or other close ones-is discussed, particularly the implementation of early obstetric ultra-sound screening and blood tests (NIPT) for Down's syndrome and other medical defects. I conclude the article by suggesting that phenomenology can help us to negotiate an upper time limit for legal abortion and, also, provide ways to determine what embryo-foetus defects to look for and in which cases these should be looked upon as good reasons for performing an abortion.

Keywords
Ethics of abortion, Lived body, NIPT, Obstetric ultrasound, Phenomenology, Pregnancy, Quickening
National Category
Medical Ethics Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-33027 (URN)10.1007/s11019-017-9786-x (DOI)000425299900009 ()28669128 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85021729370 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2017-07-06 Created: 2017-07-06 Last updated: 2018-09-06Bibliographically approved
Svenaeus, F. (2018). Why Heideggerian Death Anxiety is not Truly Uncanny: Existential Feelings and Psychiatric Disorders. Discipline filosofiche, 28(2), 43-59
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Why Heideggerian Death Anxiety is not Truly Uncanny: Existential Feelings and Psychiatric Disorders
2018 (English)In: Discipline filosofiche, ISSN 1591-9625, E-ISSN 2279-7343, Vol. 28, no 2, p. 43-59Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to provide a phenomenology of uncanniness which shows that although Martin Heidegger in his path breaking analysis of existential anxiety and human finitude puts his finger on some key elements of what in German is known as “das Unheimliche”, this analysis falls short of displaying what it means to have a truly uncanny experience for reasons of neglecting the constitutive powers of embodiment and intersubjectivity. To understand the true nature of the uncanny, we should turn to experiences of automata, corpses, ghosts and doubles found in horror stories and to the lives of persons afflicted by certain mental disorders, such as Cotard syndrome and Capgras delusion. To feel and perceive oneself to be dead (Cotard syndrome) or family members to have been replaced by impostors (Capgras delusion) are not only more profoundly uncanny experiences than facing the general meaninglessness of life, targeted by Heidegger; they are in many ways experiences that can teach us more about the phenomenology of being-in-the-world than Heidegger’s account of existential anxiety is able to do. The experiences reported by persons suffering from such mental disorders force us to acknowledge how all pervasive and powerful so called existential feelings can be in affording – and denying – structure and content to our perceptions and thoughts when we inhabit a world.

Keywords
phenomenology; Cotard syndrome; Capras delusion, Martin Heidegger; Sigmund Freud, Matthew Ratcliffe
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-37063 (URN)
Available from: 2018-12-20 Created: 2018-12-20 Last updated: 2018-12-20Bibliographically approved
Svenaeus, F. (2017). Att inte kunna sluta.: Datorspel och meningen med livet. In: Anders Burman och Lena Lennerhed (Ed.), Samtider: Perspektiv på 2000-talets idéhistoria (pp. 327-344). Göteborg: Daidalos
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Att inte kunna sluta.: Datorspel och meningen med livet
2017 (Swedish)In: Samtider: Perspektiv på 2000-talets idéhistoria / [ed] Anders Burman och Lena Lennerhed, Göteborg: Daidalos, 2017, p. 327-344Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Daidalos, 2017
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-33905 (URN)978-91-7173-515-7 (ISBN)
Available from: 2017-12-16 Created: 2017-12-16 Last updated: 2017-12-18Bibliographically approved
Svenaeus, F. (2017). De skakades solidaritet.: Om filosofen Jan Patocka. Dixikon (27 november)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>De skakades solidaritet.: Om filosofen Jan Patocka
2017 (Swedish)In: Dixikon, ISSN 2001-1768, no 27 novemberArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Dixikon, 2017
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-33906 (URN)
Available from: 2017-12-16 Created: 2017-12-16 Last updated: 2017-12-18Bibliographically approved
Projects
Kroppen som gåva, resurs och vara: organtransplantationer i Östersjöområdet [A014-2007_OSS]; Södertörn UniversityThe Phenomenology of Suffering in Medicine: Explorations in the Baltic Sea Region [4/2014_OSS]; Södertörn University; Publications
Svenaeus, F. (2015). Hermeneutics, health and medicine. In: Gander, H-H. and Malpas, J. (Ed.), Routledge Companion to Hermeneutics: (pp. 550-560). London: RoutledgeSvenaeus, F. (2015). På spaning efter det goda dödandet. Svenska Dagbladet (5 november)Svenaeus, F. (2015). The relationship between empathy and sympathy in good health care. Medicine, Health care and Philosophy, 18(2), 267-277Svenaeus, F. (2015). Vi har förlorat känslan för lidandet. Svenska Dagbladet (20 oktober)Svenaeus, F. (2014). Empathy as a necessary condition of phronesis: a line of thought for medical ethics. Medicine, Health care and Philosophy, 17(2), 293-299Svenaeus, F. (2014). Phenomenology. In: ten Have, Henk (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics: (pp. 1-10). Dordrecht: SpringerSvenaeus, F. (2014). The body uncanny: Alienation, illness, and anorexia nervosa. In: Zeiler, Kristin & Folkmarson Käll, Lisa (Ed.), Feminist phenomenology and medicine: (pp. 201-221). New York: SUNY PressSvenaeus, F. (2014). The phenomenology of empathy in medicine: an introduction. Medicine, Health care and Philosophy, 17(2), 245-248Svenaeus, F. (2014). The phenomenology of suffering in medicine and bioethics. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, 35(6), 407-420
The Role of Existential Philosophy in Health Care: The Cases of Germany, Denmark, and Sweden [4/2017_OSS]; Södertörn University
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-8973-8591

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