Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 117–120 | Cite as

Comments on Mohammed Abouelleil Rashed’s “a critical perspective on second-order empathy in understanding psychopathology: phenomenology and ethics”

  • Jann E. SchlimmeEmail author
  • Osborne P. Wiggins
  • Michael A. Schwartz


Understanding the mental life of persons with psychosis/schizophrenia has been the crucial challenge of psychiatry since its origins, both for scientific models as well as for every therapeutic encounter between persons with and without psychosis/schizophrenia. Nonetheless, a preliminary understanding is always the first step of phenomenological as well as other qualitative research methods addressing persons with psychotic experiences in their life-world. In contrast to Rashed's assertions, in order to achieve such understanding, phenomenological psychopathologists need not necessarily adopt the transcendental-phenomenological attitude, which, however, is often required if performing phenomenological philosophy. Additionally, in the course of these (non-philosophical) scientific endeavors, differences between persons with psychosis/schizophrenia and so-called normal people seem to have a methodological function and value driving the scientist in her enterprise. Yet, these differences do not extend to ethical dimensions, and therefore, do not by any means touch ethical equality.


Empathy Methodology Phenomenology Psychosis Schizophrenia Understanding 


  1. 1.
    Rashed, Mohammed Abouelleil. 2015. A critical perspective on second-order empathy in understanding psychopathology: Phenomenology and ethics. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, doi:  10.1007/s11017-015-9323-y.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jann E. Schlimme
    • 1
    Email author
  • Osborne P. Wiggins
    • 2
  • Michael A. Schwartz
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyCharité University MedicineBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryTexas A&M Health Science Center College of MedicineRound RockUSA

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