Pure and Other Phenomenologically Oriented Psychology



This paper inquires into the necessity and limits of what Edmund Husserl calls a "pure"phenomenological psychology. It argues that there may be merit to this notion as a kind of philosophical psychology, the notion of purity in clinical psychology would unnecessarily limit the kinds of factors that the psychologist must take into account in understanding and treating most of the psychological conditions the therapist faces. The paper suggests that phenomenological psychology nonetheless has value in providing a counter-balance to naturalistically inclined psychology that for its part neglects the meaning of various life events for the agent and can serve as means of critical reflection on the operative concepts guiding psychological practice. It can also help correct a deterministic tendency in modern psychology that does not take seriously enough human beings' capacity for self-reflection and for self-responsibility that can often serve as key elements in psychological therapy and healing.

Publication Title

Journal of Phenomenological Psychology