Subjects Without a World? An Husserlian Analysis of Solitary Confinement
- Lisa Guenther
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Psychiatrist Stuart Grassian has proposed the term “SHU syndrome” to name the cluster of cognitive, perceptual and affective symptoms that commonly arise for inmates held in the Special Housing Units (SHU) of supermax prisons. In this paper, I analyze the harm of solitary confinement from a phenomenological perspective by drawing on Husserl’s account of the essential relation between consciousness, the experience of an alter ego and the sense of a real, Objective world. While Husserl’s prioritization of transcendental subjectivity over transcendental intersubjectivity underestimates the degree to which first-person consciousness is constitutively intertwined with the embodied consciousness of others, Husserl’s phenomenology nevertheless provides a fruitful starting-point for a philosophical engagement with the psychiatric research on solitary confinement.
- Arrigo, B. A., & Bullock, J. L. (2008). The psychological effects of solitary confinement on prisoners in Supermax units: Reviewing what we know and recommending what should change. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 52, 6(December), 622–640.
- Bonta, J, Gendreau, P (1990) Reexamining the cruel and unusual punishment of prison life. Law and Human Behavior 14: pp. 347-366 CrossRef
- Dayan, C. (2005). Cruel and unusual: The end of the eighth amendment. Boston Review: A Political and Literary Forum (October/November) at http://www.bostonreview.net/BR29.5/dayan.html. Accessed 22 September 2009.
- Doyle, L. (2006). Bodies inside/out: Violation and resistance from the prison cell to The Bluest Eye. In Dorothea, O., & Weiss G. (Ed.), Feminist interpretations of maurice merleau-ponty. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press.
- Grassian, S (1983) Psychopathological effects of solitary confinement. American Journal of Psychiatry 140: pp. 1450-1454
- Grassian, S (2006) Psychiatric effects of solitary confinement. Journal of Law & Policy 22: pp. 325-383
- Haney, C (2003) Mental health issues in long-term solitary and “supermax” confinement. Crime & Delinquency 49: pp. 124-156 CrossRef
- Haney, C, Lynch, M (1997) Regulating prisons of the future: A psychological analysis of Supermax and solitary confinement. New York University School of Law Review of Law and Social Change 23: pp. 477-570
- Hermberg, K. (2006). Husserl’s phenomenology: Knowledge, objectivity and others. London: Continuum.
- Heron, W., Doane, B. K., & Scott, T. H. (1956). Visual disturbances after prolonged perceptual isolation. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 10(1), 13–18.
- Husserl, Edmund. (1970). The crisis of European sciences and transcendental phenomenology: An introduction to phenomenological philosophy (trans: Carr, D.). Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
- Husserl, Edmund. (1973). Zur Phänomenologie der Intersubjektivität: Texte aus dem Nachlass (Vol. 13–15). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
- Husserl, Edmund. (1989). Ideas pertaining to a pure phenomenology and to a phenomenological philosophy: Second Book: Studies in the phenomenology of constitution (trans: Rojcewicz, R. & Schuwer, A.). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
- Husserl, Edmund. (1991). Cartesian meditations: An introduction to phenomenology [CM] (trans: Cairns, D.). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
- King, R. (2010). Experience: I spent 29 years in solitary confinement. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/aug/28/29-years-solitary-confinement-robert-king.
- Kupers, T (1999) Prison madness: The mental health crisis behind bars and what we must do about it. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco
- Merleau-Ponty, M. (1986). Phenomenology of perception (Trans. C. Smith). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
- Sumell, J., & Wallace,H. (2006). The house that herman built. Stuttgart: Merz & Solitude.
- Subjects Without a World? An Husserlian Analysis of Solitary Confinement
Volume 34, Issue 3 , pp 257-276
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Solitary confinement
- Supermax prisons
- Industry Sectors
- Lisa Guenther (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University, 229 Furman Hall, Nashville, TN, 37240, USA