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(2018) Schizophrenia and common sense, Dordrecht, Springer.

Inhabiting the shared world

phenomenological considerations on sensus communis, social space and schizophrenia

Samuel Thoma, Thomas Fuchs

pp. 19-37

With the increasingly intersubjective turn in psychopathology, common sense has become one of the most important research topics in contemporary phenomenological psychiatry. A theory of common sense not only allows for an integrative use of different phenomenological concepts but also for a sociologically-oriented understanding of altered forms of being-in-the-world, such as schizophrenia. In our article we first develop a tripartite concept of sensus communis in order to describe the fundamentally social nature of human experience, arguing that it is constituted by a range of sensory, intercorporeal and cognitive capacities that are acquired in social interactions. To give a concrete example of our theory, we then look at sensus communis under the aspect of spatiality, i.e. as a way of inhabiting different domains of social space, such as intimate, private, communal, public, and also virtual space. We combine our reflections with considerations on schizophrenic experience and finally discuss the therapeutic consequences of our analysis: approaches in social psychiatry such as Soteria, assertive community treatment and open dialogue can be regarded as attempts to foster the inhabiting of, and communication within, social spaces for both people with schizophrenia and the communities they live in.

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Full citation:

Thoma, S. , Fuchs, T. (2018)., Inhabiting the shared world: phenomenological considerations on sensus communis, social space and schizophrenia, in I. Hipólito, J. Gonçalves & J. G. Pereira (eds.), Schizophrenia and common sense, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 19-37.

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