Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 75–104 | Cite as

Temporality and psychopathology

  • Thomas FuchsEmail author


The paper first introduces the concept of implicit and explicit temporality, referring to time as pre-reflectively lived vs. consciously experienced. Implicit time is based on the constitutive synthesis of inner time consciousness on the one hand, and on the conative–affective dynamics of life on the other hand. Explicit time results from an interruption or negation of implicit time and unfolds itself in the dimensions of present, past and future. It is further shown that temporality, embodiment and intersubjectivity are closely connected: While implicit temporality is characterised by tacit bodily functioning and by synchronisation with others, explicit temporality arises with states of desynchronisation, that is, of a retardation or acceleration of inner time in relation to external or social processes. These states often bring the body to awareness as an obstacle as well. On this basis, schizophrenia and melancholic depression are investigated as paradigm cases for a psychopathology of temporality. Major symptoms of schizophrenia such as thought disorder, thought insertion, hallucinations or passivity experiences may be regarded as manifesting a disturbance of the constitutive synthesis of time consciousness, closely connected with a weakening of the underlying pre-reflective self-awareness or ipseity. This results in a fragmentation of the intentional arc, a loss of self-coherence and the appearance of major self-disturbances. Depression, on the other hand, is mostly triggered by a desynchronisation from the social environment and further develops into an inhibition of the conative–affective dynamics of life. As will be shown, both mental illnesses bear witness of the close connection of temporality, embodiment and intersubjectivity.


Temporality Intersubjectivity Desynchronisation Schizophrenia Melancholia 


  1. Andreasen, N. C., Paradiso, S., & O’Leary, D. S. (1998). “Cognitive dysmetria” as an integrative theory of schizophrenia: a dysfunction in cortical–subcortical–cerebellar circuitry? Schizophrenia Bulletin, 24, 203–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bech, P. (1975). Depression: influence on time estimation and time experience. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia, 51, 42–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berndl, K., Cranach, M., & Grüsser, O. J. (1986). Impairment of perception and recognition of faces, mimic expression and gestures in schizophrenic patients. European Archives of Psychiatric and Neurological Sciences, 5, 282–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Binswanger, L. (1960). Melancholie und Manie. Pfullingen: Neske.Google Scholar
  5. Blankenburg, W. (1969). Ansätze zu einer Psychopathologie des “common sense”. Confinia Psychiatrica, 12, 144–163. Engl. Transl. “First Steps Toward a Psychopathology of ‘Common Sense’” in Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology 8 (2001): 1071–1076.Google Scholar
  6. Blankenburg, W. (1971). Der Verlust der natürlichen Selbstverständlichkeit. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  7. Blankenburg, W. (1992). Zeitigung des Daseins in psychiatrischer Sicht. In E. Angehrn, H. Fink-Eitel, C. Iber, & G. Lohmann (Eds.), Dialektischer negativismus (pp. 130–155). Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  8. Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss. Vol. 1. London: Hogarth.Google Scholar
  9. Braus, D. F. (2002). Temporal perception and organisation, neuronal synchronisation and schizophrenia. Fortschritte der Neurologie-Psychiatrie, 70, 591–600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bürgy, M. (2003). Zur Phänomenologie der Verzweiflung bei der Schizophrenie. Zeitschrift für Klinische Psychologie, Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, 51, 1–16.Google Scholar
  11. Chapman, J. (1966). The early symptoms of schizophrenia. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 112, 225–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1991). Flow: the psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  13. Depraz, N. (1994). Temporalité et affection dans manuscripts tardifs sur la temporalité (1929–1935) de Husserl. Alter, 2, 63–86.Google Scholar
  14. Depraz, N. (1998). Can I anticipate myself ? Self-affection and temporality. In D. Zahavi (Ed.), Self-awareness, temporality, and alterity (pp. 83–97). Dordrecht: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ecker, W., & Gönner, S. (2006). Das Unvollständigkeitsgefühl. Neuentdeckung eines alten psychopathologischen Symptoms bei Zwangserkrankungen. Nervenarzt, 77, 1115–1122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fuchs, T. (2000). Psychopathologie von Leib und Raum. Phänomenologisch-empirische Untersuchungen zu depressiven und paranoiden Erkrankungen. Darmstadt: Steinkopff.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fuchs, T. (2001a). Melancholia as a desynchronization. Towards a psychopathology of interpersonal time. Psychopathology, 34, 179–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fuchs, T. (2001b). The tacit dimension. Commentary to W. Blankenburg’s “Steps towards a psychopathology of common sense”. Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology, 8, 323–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fuchs, T. (2002). The challenge of neuroscience: psychiatry and phenomenology today. Psychopathology, 35, 319–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fuchs, T. (2005a). Corporealized and disembodied minds. A phenomenological view of the body in melancholia and schizophrenia. Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology, 12, 95–107.Google Scholar
  21. Fuchs, T. (2005b). Implicit and explicit temporality. Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology, 12, 195–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fuchs, T. (2007a). The temporal structure of intentionality and its disturbance in schizophrenia. Psychopathology, 40, 229–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fuchs, T. (2007b). Fragmented selves. Temporality and identity in Borderline personality disorder. Psychopathology, 40, 379–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fuster, J. M. (1997). The prefrontal cortex. Anatomy, physiology, and neuropsychology of the frontal lobe (3rd ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven.Google Scholar
  25. Fuster, J. M. (2003) Cortex and MindUnifying Cognition. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Gallagher, S. (2000a). Philosophical conceptions of the self: Implications for cognitive science. Trends in Cognitive Science, 4, 14–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gallagher, S. (2000b). Self-reference and schizophrenia: a cognitive model of immunity to error through misidentification. In D. Zahavi (Ed.), Exploring the self: philosophical and psychopathological perspectives on self-experience (pp. 203–239). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  28. Gallagher, S. (2005). How the body shapes the mind. New York: Clarendon.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gallagher, S., Zahavi, D. (2008). The phenomenological mind. An introduction to philosophy of mind and cognitive science. London New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Henry, M. (1963) LEssence de la manifestation. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Engl. Transl. (1973) The Essence of Manifestation. Den Haag: Martinus NijhoffGoogle Scholar
  31. Henry, M. (1965). Philosophie et phénoménologie du corps. Paris: PUF.Google Scholar
  32. Husserl, E. (1929). Formale und transzendentale Logik. Halle: Niemeyer.Google Scholar
  33. Husserl, E. (1969) Zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewusstseins. Husserliana X, Nijhoff, Den Haag.—Engl. transl. by J. Brough (“On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time”), Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1991.Google Scholar
  34. Husserl, E. (2001). Analyses concerning passive and active synthesis: lectures on transcendental logic (transl. A. J. Steinbock). Kluwer: Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  35. Janzarik, W. (2004). Autopraxis, Desaktualisierung, Aktivierung und die Willensthematik. Der Nervenarzt, 75, 1053–1060.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jirsa, R., Libiger, J., Mohr, P., Radil, T., & Indra, M. (1996). Rhythmic finger-tapping task and fast seg­mentation of neural processing in schizophrenics. Biological Psychiatry 40,1301–1304.Google Scholar
  37. Kaiser, S., & Weisbrod, M. (2007). Intentionality as a link between the neuropsychology and the symptoms of schizophrenia. Psychopathology, 40, 221–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kendler, K. S. (2003). Life event dimensions of loss, humiliation, entrapment, and danger in the prediction of onsets of major depression and generalized anxiety. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60, 789–796.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kessler, R. C. (1997). The effects of stressful life events on depression. Annual revue of Psychology, 48, 191–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kitamura, T., & Kumar, R. (1982). Time passes slowly for patients with depressive state. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia, 65, 415–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Klosterkötter, J. (1988). Basissymptome und Endphaenomene der Schizophrenie. Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kobayashi, T. (1998). Melancholie und Zeit. Basel/Frankfurt: Stroemfeld.Google Scholar
  43. Kraus, A. (1987) Rollendynamische Aspekte bei Manisch-Depressiven. In: Kisker, K.P. et al. (Hrsg.), Psychiatrie der Gegenwart. Bd. 5, Affektive Psychosen, S. 403-423. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York.Google Scholar
  44. Kraus, A. (1991). Der melancholische Wahn in identitätstheoretischer Sicht. In W. Blankenburg (Ed.), Wahn und Perspektivität (pp. 68–80). Stuttgart: Enke.Google Scholar
  45. Kraus, A. (2002). Melancholie: eine Art von Depersonalisation? In T. Fuchs & C. Mundt (Eds.), Affekt und affektive Stoerungen (pp. 169–186). Paderborn: Schoeningh.Google Scholar
  46. Krause, R., & Lütolf, P. (1989). Mimische Indikatoren von Übertragungsvorgängen. Zeitschrift für Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie, 18, 1–3.Google Scholar
  47. Kuiper, P. C. (1991). Seelenfinsternis. Die Depression eines Psychiaters. Frankfurt: Fischer.Google Scholar
  48. Kupke, C. (2002) Die andere Zeit des melancholischen Leidens. In: Heinze, M., Kupke, C., Kurth, C. (Hrsg.) Das Maß des Leidens. Klinische und theoretische Aspekte seelischen Krankseins, S. 79-112. Königshausen und Neumann, Würzburg.Google Scholar
  49. Kupke, C. (2009). Der Begriff Zeit in der Psychopathologie. Berlin: Pabst/Parodos.Google Scholar
  50. Levinas, E. (1995). Die Zeit und der Andere. Hamburg: Meiner.Google Scholar
  51. Lin, M. (2004). Spinoza’s metaphysics of desire. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie., 86, 21–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Locke, J. (1975). An essay concerning human understanding. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  53. Manoach, D. S. (2003). Prefrontal cortex dysfunction during working memory performance in schizophrenia: reconciling discrepant findings. Schizophrenia Research, 60, 285–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Markowitsch, H. J., & Welzer, H. (2005). Das autobiographische Gedächtnis. Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta.Google Scholar
  55. McGhie, A., & Chapman, J. (1961). Disorders of attention and perception in early schizophrenia. The British Journal of Medical Psychology, 34, 103–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Mead, G. H. (1934). Mind, self, and society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  57. Merleau-Ponty, M. (1962). Phenomenology of perception. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  58. Minkowski, E. (1927). La schizophrénie. Psychopathologie des schizoïdes et des schizophrènes. Paris: Payot.Google Scholar
  59. Minkowski, E. (1970). Lived time: phenomenological and psychopathological studies. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  60. Mishara, A. L. (2007). Missing links in phenomenological clinical neuroscience: why we are not there yet. Current Opinions in Psychiatry, 20, 559–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Mundt, C., Richter, P., van Hees, H., & Stumpf, T. (1998). Zeiterleben und Zeitschaetzung depressiver Patienten. Der Nervenarzt, 69, 38–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Münzel, K., Gendner, G., Steinberg, R., & Raith, L. (1988). Time estimation of depressive patients: the influence of the interval content. European Archives of Psychiatric and Neurological Sciences, 237, 171–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Papoušek, M., Papoušek, H. (1995) Intuitive Parenting. In: M. H. Bornstein (ed.) Handbook of Parenting. Vol. 2: Biology and Ecology of Parenting (pp. 183–203). Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  64. Parfit, D. (1984). Reasons and persons. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  65. Parnas, J. (2000). The self and intentionality in the pre-psychotic stages of schizophrenia. In D. Zahavi (Ed.), Exploring the self: philosophical and psychopathological perspectives on self-experience (pp. 115–147). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  66. Parnas, J. (2003). Self and schizophrenia: a phenomenological perspective. In: T. Kircher, & A. David (Eds.), The self in neuroscience and psychiatry (pp. 217–241). Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  67. Parnas, J., & Handest, P. (2003). Phenomenology of anomalous self-experience in early schizophrenia. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 44, 121–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Parnas, J., Bovet, P., & Zahavi, D. (2002). Schizophrenic autism: clinical phenomenology and pathogenetic implications. World Psychiatry, 1, 131–136.Google Scholar
  69. Parnas, J., Moeller, P., Kircher, T., Thalbitzer, J., Jannson, L., Handest, P., et al. (2005). EASE: examination of anomalous self-experience. Psychopathology, 38, 236–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Pillmann, F. (2001). Sozialer Rang und Depression—ein Beispiel “evolutionärer Psychopathologie”. Fortschritte der Neurologie-Psychiatrie, 69, 268–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Polanyi, M. (1967). The tacit dimension. Garden City: Anchor Books.Google Scholar
  72. Sass, L. A. (1992a). Madness and modernism. Insanity in the light of modern art, literature, and thought. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  73. Sass, L. A. (1992b). Heidegger, schizophrenia and the ontological difference. Philosophical Psychology, 5, 109–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Sass, L. A. (2000). Schizophrenia, self-experience and the so-called ‘negative symptoms’. In D. Zahavi (Ed.), Exploring the self: philosophical and psychopathological perspectives on self-experience (pp. 149–182). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  75. Sass, L. A. (2004). Affectivity in schizophrenia: a phenomenological view. In D. Zahavi (Ed.), Hidden resources (pp. 127–147). Exeter: Imprint Academic.Google Scholar
  76. Sass, L. A. (2007). Contradictions of emotion in schizophrenia. Cognition and Emotion, 21, 351–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Sass, L. A., & Parnas, J. (2003). Schizophrenia, consciousness, and the self. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 29, 427–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Schmitz, H. (1965). System der Philosophie, Band II/1: Der Leib. Bonn: Bouvier.Google Scholar
  79. Schmitz, H. (1992). Zeit als leibliche Dynamik und ihre Entfaltung in der Gegenwart. In Forum für Philosophie Bad Homburg (Ed.), Zeiterfahrung und Personalität (pp. 231–246). Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  80. Spitz, R. A. (1945). Hospitalism: An inquiry into the genesis of psychiatric conditions in early childhood. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 1, 53–74.Google Scholar
  81. Stanghellini, G. (2004). Disembodied spirits and deanimatied bodies: the psychopathology of common sense. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  82. Steimer-Krause, E., Krause, R., & Wagner, G. (1990). Interaction regulations used by schizophrenic and psychosomatic patients: studies on facial behavior in dyadic interactions. Psychiatry, 53, 209–228.Google Scholar
  83. Stern, D. N. (1985). The interpersonal world of the infant. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  84. Straus, E. (1960). Das Zeiterleben in der depression und in der psychopathischen Verstimmung. In Ders (Ed.), Psychologie der menschlichen Welt (pp. 126–140). Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  85. Summerfeldt, L. J. (2004). Understanding and treating incompleteness in obsessive–compulsive disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 60, 1155–1168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Tellenbach, H. (1980). Melancholy. History of the problem, endogeneity, typology, pathogenesis, clinical considerations. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.Google Scholar
  87. Theunissen, M. (1991). Negative Theologie der Zeit. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  88. Tronick, E. Z., & Cohn, J. F. (1989). Infant-mother face-to-face interaction: age and gender differences in coordination and the occurrence of miscoordination. Child Development, 60, 85–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Vilhjalmsson, R. (1993). Life stress, social support and clinical depression: a reanalysis of the literature. Social Science & Medicine, 37, 331–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Vogeley, K., & Kupke, C. (2007). Disturbances of time consciousness from a phenomenological and a neuroscientific perspective. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 33, 157–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Vogeley, K., Kurthen, M., Falkai, P., & Maier, W. (1999). Essential functions of the human self model are implemented in the prefrontal cortex. Consciousness and Cognition, 8, 343–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. von Gebsattel, E. (1954). Zeitbezogenes Zwangsdenken in der Melancholie. In E. von Gebsattel (Ed.), Prolegomena einer medizinischen anthropologie (pp. 1–18). Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Wiggins O. P., & Schwartz, M. A. (2007) Schizophrenia: a phenomenological-anthropological approach. In: M. D. Chung, K. W. M. Fulford, & G. Graham (Eds.) Reconceiving schizophrenia (pp. 113–127). Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  94. Zahavi, D. (2003) Inner time-consciousness and pre-reflective self-awareness. In: D. Welton (Ed.) The new Husserl: a critical reader (pp. 157–180). Indiana University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Karl Jaspers-Professor of Philosophy and Psychiatry, Clinic of General PsychiatryUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

Personalised recommendations