Logotheory as Phenomenological Philosophy
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Logotheory as Phenomenological Philosophy



Timo Purjo's presentation at the 2nd World Congress on Logotherapy in Vienna 2014

Timo Purjo's presentation at the 2nd World Congress on Logotherapy in Vienna 2014



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Logotheory as Phenomenological Philosophy Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Logotheory as Philosophical Anthropology, Phenomenological Philosophy, and Phenomenological Practice THE FUTURE OF LOGOTHERAPY 2ND INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON LOGOTHERAPY AND EXISTENTIAL ANALYSIS VIENNA, MAY 15-18, 2014 Timo Purjo, PhD, Diplomate in Logotherapy Accredited member of the International Association of Logotherapy and Existential Analysis
  • 2. Philosophical Anthropology • Philosophical anthropology is a field of philosophy, that deals with questions of the human person’s constitution • The approach of philosophical anthropology differs distinctly from that of e.g. psychology or medicine, which concentrate in empiric observation and interpretation of one specific side of the human being • Philosophy approaches the problem of humanity structurally – what is the human constituted of, and how is he existing in the world – but also normatively – why is the human existing, and what should he be like • The result of philosophic-anthropological research is a holistic, philosophical conception of the human person vs. a one-sided psychology of the man (psychogenic approach) or pathology of the man (pathogenic approach) ©Timo Purjo
  • 3. The Philosophy of Spirituality • In philosophy, practically always the spiritual has been considered as the most important mode of existence of the human being • René Descartes’ (1596-1650) contribution was that he proved and stated arguments for the stance that the human soul (psychic) and human spirit (spiritual) are elements of the human awareness • Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) clarified the question of the spiritual by pointing out that the foundations of thinking and knowing are not somewhere beyond, but they are included in the operating principles of the human awareness • The 1900s: Phenomenology (phenomenological philosophy) ©Timo Purjo
  • 4. The Philosophy of Spirituality • Phenomenology in a sense of analyzing the awareness and acts of experiencing is at least 2500 years old, but in a modern sense it has been founded by Franz Brentano (1838-1917) and Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) • Max Scheler (1874-1928) The spiritual is a central factor in the individual structure of the person, the two others are lived body and soul (psychic) The spiritual experiencing is of high-grade and consequently most genuinely human Scheler aimed for separating the psychic and spiritual, but didn’t succeed Scheler has convincingly argued for the differentiation of awareness with the help of the auxiliary concepts of psychic and spiritual It is clear that the spiritual differs from the psychic, but their boundary in the awareness is wavering and they are so intimately intertwined, that it is inevitable that they have always to be examined together as an entity of awareness  they can not be clearly and completely separated ©Timo Purjo
  • 5. The Philosophy of Spirituality • Nicolai Hartmann (1882-1950) has analyzed being of the spiritual perhaps in greatest detail and most accurately within phenomenology • He divides more distinct than Scheler the modes of being (or reality) in four levels: inanimate-material, organic, psychic and intellectual-spiritual • The lower level is always a precondition for the realization of the higher. Every level means always something new.The reduction of the higher level to the lower is not possible. On each level own categories and concepts have to be used. • The personal, subjective spirit exists and functions in the awareness of human person. It realizes itself in constantly continuing occurrence of awareness – in decisions and choices – as a result of which the spirit, in a way, grows into the surrounding reality. It has to be free as it exists only in the decisions and choices it takes by itself. ©Timo Purjo
  • 6. The Philosophy of Spirituality • The spiritual is capable of self-consciousness during the human person’s phases of time. It can take a directional standpoint towards the person’s course of life.The personal spirit is living and also subject to death. It can not be transmitted to another person and it is not inherited. Everyone has to develop it as a part of his person. • Hartmann emphasizes often, that the individual psychic awareness dissociates people and the spiritual associates them.The significations, in which the spirit is alive and acts, can be shared by means of languages. • From current perspective Hartmann’s analysis appears to be an end result, that has been achieved in the philosophical development – but of course it is not the final truth about spirit ©Timo Purjo
  • 7. The Philosophy of Spirituality • Spiritual – in a sense of ”spiritualistic” – experiences that are exceeding the mortal and brain-bound human awareness, can not be included in this concept of factual personal spiritual • The concept of spirituality as Christian or other religious faith (geistlich) can be regarded as a subordinate term within the general conception of spiritual. It can be considered as transcending to spiritual (geistlich) contents of experiencing instead of gliding to a structurally other level (or dimension) or transcendence in a spiritualistic sense ©Timo Purjo
  • 8. Philosophical Anthropology • Frankl – as well as the Finnish philosopher (in the first place psychologist) Lauri Rauhala – founded his own philosophical conception of the person on Max Scheler’s philosophical anthropology and Nicolai Hartmann’s ontology • Easy reading: • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Scheler • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolai_Hartmann • More advanced reading: • http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scheler/ • http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nicolai-hartmann/ ©Timo Purjo
  • 9. One Philosophical Conception of the Person • Basic modes of human existence: Corporeality, Awareness, and Situationality (Lauri Rauhala) • Frankl’s conception of the person could (should?!) be completed with situationality • Situationality shows how the world belongs to the individual in addition to the fact that the person is part of the world. • Situation marks off the part of the world that a certain person, an individual, gets into relationship with - in other words, in which the world is encountered when existence is realized. Situation contains all that an individual has got into personal relationships with, either consciously or unconsciously. ©Timo Purjo
  • 10. The Significance of Situationality in the Person • Selfish, unethical action does not concern only outsiders because this other person that belongs to our situation is also part of us and we are also part of the other through the other’s situation. So the other person is not in fact a completely separate entity, but part of our evolving self. • Doing e.g. psychic harm to another person by a selfish, unethical deed affects us as well. It resonates in our own awareness as an experiences of feeling unwell. • Correspondingly, ethically good deeds resonate in our own awareness as experiences of our own well-being. This provides a phenomenological explanation to Frankl’s thought, that the discovery of meaning gives us a reason to be happy; the experience of happiness is the side- effect of discovering meaning. ©Timo Purjo
  • 11. The Personal Spiritual Level / Dimension ©Timo Purjo
  • 12. • The psychical awareness • Psychic = non-objectivized individual fundamental experience of awareness (Scheler). In this sense psychic is also possible for animals • In a psychic state the person only undergoes experiences, basic moods or emotions (aggression, anxiety, fear, joy, lust, pleasure, sadness, satisfaction, etc.), instinctual needs, desires, passion, wants, indefinable states, etc. • but he doesn’t observe them as such as phenomena phenomenologically, by means of phenomenological analysis) • A person is in his psychic state completely with his experience, without being able to distance himself from current occurring in the awareness. Hence he is in a state of e.g. irritation or anger.Then he might also act accordingly. Differencies between the psychic and spiritual
  • 13. The spiritual awareness • By means of attitude change in awareness the person can bring a recent affect under examination as a matter-of-fact. One’s own psychic state of awareness becomes then a fact or object. Hence the function of the spiritual can be called as factualizing or objectifying.The person in a way distances in his awareness from being in power of anger to a higher level, where he can evaluate his earlier experience.This makes it possible for him to reflect afterwards on what happened in a more objective manner. As a consequence might well be guilt and remorse. • At the spiritual level, the person can also form a concept of his affects – e.g. anger – which enables him to recall over and over again in his consciousness the general essence of this phenomenon – to understand at any time what anger is, without actually having to live it through by getting angry. • By means of concepts the person can communicate about his psychic states to other people intersubjectively • Conceptualizing and the possibility of managing of generalized information on phenomena, is according to Scheler the most essential feature of the spirituality Differencies between the psychic and spiritual
  • 14. • The spiritual awareness • Scheler emphasizes the participation of feelings in high-level spiritual functions. Love and hatred are not psychic emotions, but spiritual, intentional acts of the person, which Scheler categorizes as "intentional feelings”. Love, compassion, sympathy etc. humanize the human being and characterize him as a person. Love enhances the ability to feel values as beauty, truth, goodness and holiness, while hatred prevents from experiencing them. • It is also important to notice, that factualizing doesn’t mean rationalizing. Objectifying has to correspond to the nature of the qualities of experiencing. Adequate is that a psychic emotion is objectified with spiritual feelings.The wholeheartedness of an attachment doesn’t manifest itself in rationalizing, but in that spiritual level of feelings, that the person has achieved. Differencies between the psychic and spiritual
  • 15. The spiritual awareness • The talk on spiritual growth and education and their goals is obscured by the lack of precision of the concept of spirituality • In order to give real content to spiritual being (or existence) some essential functions of it can be sketched • Knowing, conceptualizing • Awareness of values: discovering values and purposes, respecting human worth and worth of life in general, making decisions based on highest values • Responsibility for oneself, fellow-men, nature and even for cosmic harmony • Consciousness and actualization of self-developmental tasks: self-acceptance, enliven one’s potentials for personal growth, sensitizing of experiencing love, holy and other highest values • Consciousness of the transcendental dimension of one’s own existence • Growing to an authentic personality with the goal of self-guidedness in one’s life, criticality to mass behavior, independent creativity within personal possibilities • Being socialized: fulfilling ethical principles in one’s life, enhancing the good of others, constructive civil activism Differencies between the psychic and spiritual
  • 16. Spiritual refers also inViktor Frankl’s ontology to the personal spiritual dimension or the human spirit • Frankl’s contribution to philosophy of spirit is that he named and defined the essential spiritual potentials in person in a supreme way • “Therein rests really in our [Frankl’s] view also the whole dignity of the spiritual being (geistigen Seins) and it’s precedence as insoluble-individual, as irreducible personal being (personalen Seins)” 1 The Personal Spiritual Level / Dimension 1 ÄS 1. manuscript 1942. In Batthyany et al. (eds.)Viktor E. Frankl. GesammelteWerke 4. Ärzliche Seelsorge etc., p.176 ©Timo Purjo
  • 17. The Personal Spiritual Level / Dimension • Frankl1 endeavors to assure the self-justification of the concrete (tangible, actual, real) spiritual, the personal (personally) spiritual • Frankl continues: ”our question could also be stated more precisely: we ask if and how the psychotherapy is possible as valuing” • Then he talks about the fundamental justification of valuing, the question of instance: ”in name of which”, that thrusts into the world view (Weltanschauung), the spiritual and the realm of the values.This is a question of fairness of world view and cleanliness of methodology. • In a whole section of (Ärztliche und priesterliche Seelsorge) Frankl points out that psychotherapy and medical souls care should not be confused with theology and religious pastoral care 1 ÄS 2007, pp.300- ©Timo Purjo
  • 18. The Personal Spiritual Level / Dimension • “In logotherapy the question about believing is focused to believing in a comprehensive meaning, not to believing in God”1 • Meaning of life is philosophical-theoretically an axiom, as Frankl states; it has to be taken for granted as the whole logotheory would collapse without it being true • “Religion is one human phenomenon among all other phenomena, which are encountered in logotherapy. For logotherapy religion is and can only be an object (Gegenstand) – but not a location (Standort)” • In German two different words 1. Geistig = spiritual, intellectual, mental; Geisteswissenschaften = human sciences 2. Geistlich = spiritual, clerical, priestly • Frankl talks about the first one, geistig 1 ÄS 2007, p.296 ©Timo Purjo
  • 19. Other Spiritual Dimensions • In LTEA the focus is in personal, spiritual abilities of the awareness that are in common for as well atheists/agnostics/secular as religious individuals, otherwise LTEA could not be considered as a philosofic-scientically credible doctrine, but rather as some kind of belief system • Frankl talks about open-door policy, which enables, that an individual can enrich himself with other spiritual dimension he beliefs in • Frankl also states that he is happy if reductionism (psychoanalysis) has not succeeded in closing this gate to the ultra-human (zum Ultra-humanen) ©Timo Purjo
  • 20. TheTranscendent – someone or something? • ”Existential analysis has to arrange a room for the immanence and furnish it as possible, and only guard that the doors to transcendence are not blocked” 1 • ”Now it becomes also clear, that then the realm of the values must be a transcending realm of objective and absolute facts” 2 •Frankl’s “10Theses on the Human Person” •Frankl’s theory on person: an absolute necessary clarification for his “dimensional ontology”! (Logos und Existenz 1951, DerWille zum Sinn 1982, ÄS 2005-) 1 ÄS 2007, p.315, footnote 17. 2ÄS 2. manuscript 1945, Batthyany et al., p.213 ©Timo Purjo
  • 21. Viktor Frankl’s 10Theses on the Human Person 1. The person is an individual: the person is in-dividable, an oneness (Einheit) 2. The person is not only in-dividable, but also in-summable, a wholeness (Ganzheit); the person as such can not be reproduced or procreated: only the organic, the organism is reproduced, created by parental organisms.The person, the personal spirit, the spiritual existence, can not be passed on by a human being. 3. Every individual Person is an absolute Novum (lat. for “new thing”). By a new human being, who comes to the world, an absolute Novum is set in existence, to reality.The spirit proves itself here to be real imponderable (an Imponderabile). Only the “bricks” or the structure are reproducible. 4. The person is spiritual… 5. The person is existential… 6. The person is liable, responsible for itself…
  • 22. Viktor Frankl’s 10Theses on the Human Person 7. The person is not only an oneness and a wholeness, but he constitutes, establishes and guarantees a wholeness of lived body, soul (psychic). and spirituality (leiblichen, seelischen und geistigen, cf. Scheler). A person depicts a point of intersection, a crossing place of the three levels.These levels of existence can not be separated clean enough from one another (cf. Jaspers, N. Hartmann – reference by Frankl). However, the person is not assembled of lived body, soul, and spirituality as it is a oneness and wholeness. But within this oneness and wholeness, the spiritual in the person is grappling with the lived body and the soul (psychic). 8. The person is dynamic. (At this point Frankl speaks about self- distancing…)
  • 23. Self-Distancing❶ and Self-Transcendence❷
  • 24. Viktor Frankl’s 9.Thesis on the Human Person ©Timo Purjo
  • 25. Viktor Frankl’s 10.Thesis on the Human Person ©Timo Purjo
  • 26. Logos ©Timo Purjo
  • 27. Viktor Frankl’s 10.Thesis on the Human Person ©Timo Purjo
  • 28. Logotheory as Phenomenological Philosophy ©Timo Purjo Rudolf Allers' Phenomenology of Psychiatry Karl Jaspers' Philosophy of Existence x) x) Edmund Husserl's phenomenology Max Scheler's phenomenology Martin Heidegger's phenomenology with special emphasis on Ethics ofValues with special emphasis on Human Existence, situationality x) Both psychiatrists and philosophers
  • 29. Logotheory as Phenomenological Philosophy, and Phenomenological Practice • There is no separate philosophy of LTEA, LTEA is pure philosophy • Existential analysis = phenomenological analysis of factors causing qualitative problems in a person’s existence; “What causes suffering in a person’s life?” • Logotherapy = phenomenological psychotherapy or counselling, in a Socratic role of a midwife, helping the delivery of meanings and purposes from the spiritual awareness; “What kind of meanings and purposes can be discovered that cause happiness, a comprehensive experience of good life?” • Based on the wayViktor Frankl practiced his occupation (see above), he can be regarded as the forerunner of modern Philosophical Practice1 1 Instead of the German philosopher Gerd B. Achenbach, who began in 1981, and has been given credit for being the first ©Timo Purjo