Academic journal article Indo - Pacific Journal of Phenomenology

Existential-Phenomenological Psychology: A Brief Introduction

Academic journal article Indo - Pacific Journal of Phenomenology

Existential-Phenomenological Psychology: A Brief Introduction

Article excerpt

Existential-Phenomenological Psychology: A Brief Introduction Eugen M. DeRobertis (2012). Charleston, South Carolina (SC): CreateSpace Publishing. ISBN: 978-1478173557

Dr Eugene DeRobertis is an internationally renowned researcher and academic who describes his academic interests as existential-phenomenological, humanistic, hermeneutic, personalistic, dialogal and somewhat neo-Thomistic. An author of numerous papers and books, Dr DeRobertis' work reflects his overarching academic concern with the increasing legitimisation of holistic perspectives in psychology. In his work, Existential-Phenomenological Psychology: A Brief Introduction, he facilitates a concise outline of existential-phenomenological psychology designed to serve as an initial acquaintance with the language and fundamental ideas of an existential-phenomenological approach to psychology.

Designed primarily to serve as a teaching aid that instructors may use for undergraduate students, this concise work is divided into seven chapters that introduce core ideas pertaining to phenomenology in general and existential-phenomenological psychology in particular. The conveying of these central concepts is well-facilitated through illustrative reviews of a number of topics core to the field of psychology, with the final three chapters explicitly enabling an existential-phenomenological engagement with the three long-standing concerns of anxiety, the nature nurture debate and the unconscious. Nattily presented the chapters serve as an effective guide or teaching aid for those new to phenomenology and existentialphenomenological psychology, as well as those who wish to revisit the core tenets and ideas of an approach to psychology emphasising the importance of an epistemological ontology that embodies a reflective perspective on the experience of being-inthe-world.

Chapter 1: Why Phenomenology?

This chapter argues for the limitations of the dualism incumbent in the causal-empiricist and rationalist legacies that are inherent in the predominant philosophical-anthropological viewpoints in Western thought. These limitations are used as a means by which to advance the need for, and relevance of, phenomenological and existential perspectives. The relevance of a descriptive-interpretive approach to psychology that begins with a recognition of the fundamental unity of human existence is used to summarise the case for existential-phenomenological psychology.

Chapter 2: An Introduction to Phenomenological Methodology

The fundamental aspects of the phenomenological approach to data analysis are introduced and summarized in this chapter. Core features of the phenomenological perspective such as the technique of 'bracketing' and 'imaginative free variation' are introduced and illustrative research examples are given in such a manner as to effectively give the reader a good sense as to what the phenomenological approach entails in practice. This chapter serves to concisely summarize in a meaningful and accessible manner some complex ideas that embody a pragmatic introduction to phenomenological methods and thinking.

Chapter 3: An Existential-Phenomenological Perspective on the Human way of Being

Having contextualized the case for phenomenological perspectives and the core underpinnings of phenomenological methodology, Chapter 3 addresses the question of "'human being' in the fullness of psychological life" (p. 49). Outlining some of the primary constituents of the human life form, the chapter demonstrates how a descriptive-interpretive viewpoint like existential-phenomenology can be used to clarify the central object of psychological inquiry: human existence.

Chapter 4: What Phenomenology is Not

The first three chapters serve as an effective summary and introduction to the core tenets of existentialphenomenological psychology. In the fourth chapter, Dr DeRobertis facilitates a deeper understanding of phenomenology as he examines in detail the distinction between phenomenology and other schools of thought. …

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