Is a phenomenological psychopathology of time possible?
There are several problems associated with the practical application of the phenomenological concept of lived time toward understanding the experience of mental illness. First, there is the methodological gap between clinical and experimental studies of time perception (binary model) and the phenomenological concept of time (tripartite model). Second, there is the question of the extent to which measurements of the clock (our binary “language” of time) constitute any part of tripartite lived experience (E. Straus). How do the two orders of time fit together (given the fact that one can be existentially lost in “time” while still capable of clock time calculations)? Third, our lived synchronicity is clearly embodied – it is biological, including the “natural” clocks in our brains, and even cosmic – while also undeniably mediated by conceptual forms of interactions validated by “artificial” clocks. Fourth, there is an obvious lack of symmetry between the past (lived as necessary) and the future (lived as open), which becomes challenging as soon as we start to ponder the question of determinism and self-determination in relationship to that of a mental health. Futures under full “anticipatory control” (F. Melges) are no longer existential futures, yet supposedly authentic futures of “infinite improbability” (H. Arendt) or "otherness" (E. Levinas) are definitely not livable. In addition, there are a variety of possible – and often incommensurable – conceptualizations of the layers of time: implicit, explicit, collective, pragmatic etc. Finally, there is the issue of vital and existential becoming (L. Binswanger, V.E. von Gebsattel) – too vague to constitute on object of scientific study, yet too significant to be dismissed as being simply “subjective”. How do these different “temporalities” go together? And does it even make sense to talk about a normal – “healthy” lived time? Our presentation will close with suggestions regarding this fundamental yet elusive concept.