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date: 26 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Erwin Straus (1891–1975) was a German neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist, and philosopher who was forced to emigrate to the United States in 1938. Based on Husserl’s phenomenology, he developed a phenomenological psychology based on sense perception and bodily movement which he applied to various areas of psychopathology. A crucial distinction he developed is between a passive or “pathic” (sensing) moment of perception on the one hand, and an active or “gnostic” (recognizing) moment on the other hand. The former may become decoupled and preponderant in anxiety, delusional mood, or drug intoxication, whereas the latter prevails in derealization and depersonalization. Among Straus’s major works are The Primary World of the Senses (1963) and Phenomenological Psychology (1966). He may be counted among the leading representatives of phenomenological and anthropological psychiatry even to the present day.

Keywords: Erwin Straus, phenomenology, psychology, psychopathology, perception, senses, movement

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