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Trauma and TranscendenceSuffering and the Limits of Theory$
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Eric Boynton and Peter Capretto

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823280261

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823280261.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 15 October 2019

Phenomenological-Contextualism All the Way Down: An Existential and Ethical Perspective on Emotional Trauma

Phenomenological-Contextualism All the Way Down: An Existential and Ethical Perspective on Emotional Trauma

Chapter:
(p.53) Chapter 2: Phenomenological-Contextualism All the Way Down: An Existential and Ethical Perspective on Emotional Trauma
Source:
Trauma and Transcendence
Author(s):

Robert D. Stolorow

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823280261.003.0003

After giving a brief overview of the phenomenological-contextualist psychoanalytic perspective, this chapter traces the evolution of my conception of emotional trauma over the course of three decades, as it developed in concert with my efforts to grasp my own traumatized states and my studies of existential philosophy. It illuminates two of trauma’s essential features: its context-embeddedness and its existential significance. I also describe the impact of trauma on the phenomenology of time and the sense of alienation from others that accompanies traumatic temporality. While discussing the implications of all these formulations for the development of an ethics of finitude, it contends that the proper therapeutic comportment toward trauma is a form of emotional dwelling. The chapter concludes by analyzing the metaphysics of trauma in terms of a “phenomenological-contextualism all the way down,” which embraces the unbearable vulnerability and context-dependence of human existence.

Keywords:   Contextualism, Emotion, Ethics, Phenomenology, Psychoanalysis, Psychotherapy, Temporality

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