Call for papers: Jaspers on Understanding and its Application in Psychopathology

The Karl Jaspers Society of North America cordially invites proposals for presentations that engage with Jaspers’ concept of understanding and its application in psychopathology. During times when life becomes increasingly complex, and the boundaries between normal and abnormal psychological states disregard the categories proposed by the diagnostic classification manuals, Jaspers’ approach to psychopathology pertains more than ever. Jaspers’ Allgemeine Psychopathologie was first published in 1913 and translated into English by John Hoenig and Marian W. Hamilton in 1963. Jaspers refers to the Allgemeine Psychopathology as being an intellectual map with the explicit aim, in his words, “to develop and order knowledge guided by the methods through which it is gained-to learn to know the process of knowing and thereby to clarify the material” (Schilpp 1981, Philosophical Autobiography, p. 20). Jaspers’ delineation of the methods for comprehending mental disorders “remains unmatched to this day” (Paul McHugh, 1997), offering the much needed resolution to the contention between biological and interpretative psychiatry. By placing psychiatry at the crossroad of science and history, Jaspers acknowledged this encompassing dialectic as the indispensable way to understand the pathologic becoming.We seek contributions that explore Jaspers’ epistemic and ontological discourse on understanding and its resonance to mental health. Submissions are welcome from philosophers, clinicians, scientists, and others with experience and or interest in contemporary neuroscience and mental health issues and debates. Post-doctoral students and graduate students are encouraged to participate.

Presentations are limited to a maximum of 10 minutes followed by a 20 minutes discussion with each one of the panel members, for a total time period of 30 minutes per presenter. Emphasis is on dialogue; the event will be videotaped and an edited version of the recording will be posted online. All participants are encouraged to submit full-length versions of their final, edited papers for consideration to be published in Existenz<>. All contributors are welcome regardless of membership. A registration fee of $25.00 applies for all who are not an active member in the Karl Jaspers Society of North America.

Please send your working title and a brief abstract (200 words) to the program chair:

Alina Marin (<>) by December 15, 2020. Earlier submissions are appreciated and will be processed in the order as they are received.

Notification of placement will take place by February 10, 2021.