From Excess to Economy: The Elements of Recovery

  • Frank Schalow
Part of the Contributions To Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 93)


This chapter shows how our attempt to carve out a new landscape for understanding (and, indeed, speaking of addiction), implies a strategy for treating the illness. Specifically, any process of recovery or healing must begin from the individual’s capacity for self-understanding and the transformative power of the moment (Augenblick) to offset the fetish-like pull of immediate gratification. This recovery and healing must be conceived anew as a path recoiling upon itself in an elliptical orbit that returns, as it were, “each day” to anchor the individual in the “gifting” and initiative of freedom, of “choosing to choose” again and again. The self-inducement of this transformative way of temporalizing departs from the linearly based, clinically oriented model that is assumed as the theoretical premise of various treatment programs. The hermeneutic-phenomenological method redirects the individual to a path whose coordinates are defined as much by the challenge of discovering the meaning of life, as in submitting to any single model of treatment. In this way, the path to recovery lies in challenging each individual to re-examine his/her set of priorities and the freedom on which they are based. The challenge of rediscovering the self’s life-trajectory, of its striving for transcendence, opens a pathway of healing and recovery.


Addiction possibilityPossibility Heidegger opennessOpenness silenceSilence 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Schalow
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of New OrleansNew OrleansUSA

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