Universiteit Leiden

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LCCP lecture: Existential Psychiatry?

Tuesday 13 September 2022
Past events 2022
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

The Centre of Continental Philosophy is happy to co-host a lecture by Rick Anthony Furtak.

Existential Psychiatry? Moods and the Experience of Possibility in Kierkegaard’s Phenomenological Psychology


The Sickness unto Death is one of a few pseudonymous texts designated “psychological” by Kierkegaard: taking this designation seriously, I examine what SUD can contribute to our understanding of moods.  An effective approach taken by recent philosophical analyses of depression has focused on the concept of possibility, and has argued that possibilities are typically a feature of the world as experienced by human beings, but that a depressed person feels that possibilities are severely impoverished or utterly absent.  Manic and hypomanic states tend toward the opposite extreme, of an overabundance of possibility.  In this chapter, I draw upon the resources of existential thought in order to develop an understanding of cyclothymic spectrum conditions, demonstrating how Kierkegaard’s work provides resources for a non-reductive phenomenological psychology of moods. 


Rick Anthony Furtak is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Colorado College and past President of the Søren Kierkegaard Society (USA). His writings include Wisdom in Love: Kierkegaard and the Ancient Quest for Emotional Integrity (2005), the edited volume Kierkegaard’s 'Concluding Unscientific Postscript': A Critical Guide (2010), Knowing Emotions: Truthfulness and Recognition in Affective Experience (2018), As a Patient Thinks about the Desert: Poems (2021), The Sonnets of Rainer Maria Rilke (2022), andLove, Subjectivity, and Truth: Existential Themes in Proust (forthcoming 2023). He is Book Series Editor for Bloomsbury Studies in Philosophy and Poetry

Rick Anthony Furtak
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