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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews and evaluates the criticisms that phenomenological thinkers have made of introspection and introspectionism, as well as the attempts phenomenologists have made to distinguish themselves from introspectionists. Such criticisms and distinctions concern the epoché, the eidetic reduction, and the intentional structure and transcendental status of subjectivity. We concentrate on three examples of “introspection”: the Cornell school of Titchener and the German Würzburg School, both from the early twentieth century, as well as a contemporary group of French researchers who seek the “explicitation” of subjectivity. Some differences between the perspectives of Husserl and those of Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty are considered. We end by considering phenomenological psychopathology in light of these issues. We argue that the reasons for criticizing “introspection,” and distinguishing it from true “phenomenology,” may seem less cogent or apt when certain versions of “introspection” are considered, and also when phenomenological psychopathology is included under the rubric of “phenomenology.”

Keywords: introspection, intentionality, epoché, eidetic reduction, explicitation, Titchener, Würzburg, Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty

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