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  1. Absence experience in grief.Louise Richardson - 2022 - European Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):163-178.
    In this paper, I consider the implications of grief for philosophical theorising about absence experience. I argue that whilst some absence experiences that occur in grief might be explained by extant philosophical accounts of absence experience, others need different treatment. I propose that grieving subjects' descriptions of feeling as if the world seems empty or a part of them seems missing can be understood as referring to a distinctive type of absence experience. In these profound absence experiences, I will argue, (...)
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  • Setting a Research Agenda on the Bioethics of Loneliness and Public Health.Zohar Lederman - 2023 - Public Health Ethics 16 (3):203-206.
    This paper argue that loneliness is a public health ethics issue and maps a research agenda for bioethicists.
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  • Social Doubt.Tom Roberts & Lucy Osler - 2023 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association (1):1-18.
    We introduce two concepts—social certainty and social doubt—that help to articulate a variety of experiences of the social world, such as shyness, self-consciousness, culture shock, and anxiety. Following Carel's (2013) analysis of bodily doubt, which explores how a person's tacit confidence in the workings of their body can be disrupted and undermined in illness, we consider how an individual's faith in themselves as a social agent, too, can be compromised or lost, thus altering their experience of what is afforded by (...)
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  • The Rage of Lonely Men: Loneliness and Misogyny in the Online Movement of “Involuntary Celibates” (Incels).Ruth Rebecca Tietjen & Sanna K. Tirkkonen - 2023 - Topoi 42 (5):1229-1241.
    In this article, we investigate the relationship between loneliness and misogyny amongst the online movement of “involuntary celibates” (incels) that has become widely known through several violent attacks. While loneliness plays a prominent role in the incels’ self-descriptions, we lack a comprehensive analysis of their experience of loneliness and its role in their radicalization. Our article offers such an analysis. We analyze how loneliness is felt, described, and implicitly understood by incels, investigate the normative presumptions underlying their experiences, and critically (...)
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  • Loneliness, Love, and the Limits of Language.Ruth Rebecca Tietjen & Rick Anthony Furtak - 2021 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 59 (3):435-459.
    In this article, we illuminate the affective phenomenon of loneliness by exploring the question of how it relates to love and other forms of friendship. We reflect in particular on the question of how different forms of loneliness are relevant to human existence. Distinguishing three forms of loneliness, we first introduce two border cases of loneliness: unfelt loneliness in which one’s individuality is denied and one therefore cannot feel lonely; and existential loneliness in which the possibility of intimacy and existential (...)
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  • Loneliness and Mood.Thomas J. Spiegel - 2023 - Topoi 42 (5):1155-1163.
    Loneliness is commonly conceived of as a topic under the purview of psychology. Empirical research on loneliness utilizes a definition of psychology as essentially subjective, i.e. as a first-personal mental property an individual can have. As a first-personal mental property, subjects have, as it were, privileged access to their state of being lonely. Rehearsing some well-known arguments from later Wittgenstein, I argue that loneliness – contrary to an unargued assumption present in several academic engagements – is not subjective in the (...)
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  • Loneliness, Psychological Models, and Self-Estrangement.Axel Seemann - 2023 - Topoi 42 (5):1133-1142.
    Loneliness is often described as an experience that is about the absence of other people. But loneliness also has an important self-directed aspect: it is oneself one experiences as lonely. I begin by taking it that what the lonely person experiences as absent are not simply other people but rather certain kinds of social relationships with them. Loneliness then involves a disappointed self-relation, a form of estrangement from oneself. I substantiate this view by appeal to psychological model theory. Social agents (...)
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  • Introduction: Loneliness.Axel Seemann, Emily Hughes, Tom Roberts & Joel Krueger - 2023 - Topoi 42 (5):1079-1081.
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  • On Experiential Loneliness.Philipp Schmidt - 2023 - Topoi 42 (5):1093-1108.
    Presumably, everyone has, at some point in their lives, felt lonely. Loneliness is, in that particular sense, omnipresent. What it feels like to be lonely can, however, vary significantly. Loneliness is far from being a homogeneous phenomenon. Different kinds of loneliness need to be distinguished, considering its causes, contexts, a person’s capacities to cope with it, and many other factors. This paper introduces the notion of a specific kind of loneliness: experiential loneliness. Experiential loneliness, it will be argued, consists in (...)
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  • What is Loneliness? Towards a Receptive Account.Mauro Rossi - 2023 - Topoi 42 (5):1109-1122.
    In this paper, I pursue two main goals. The first is to raise three objections against Tom Roberts and Joel Krueger’s recent account of loneliness (2021). The second is to sketch an alternative, receptive account. Roberts and Krueger focus on loneliness conceived of as an occurrent emotion. According to their account, loneliness involves two components: (1) a pro-attitude (e.g., a desire) towards certain social goods and (2) an awareness that such goods “are missing and out of reach, either temporarily or (...)
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  • Lonely Places and Lonely People.Matthew Ratcliffe - 2023 - Topoi 42 (5):1123-1132.
    Feeling lonely, being a lonely person, and living through lonely times can all be construed in terms of the emotional experiences of individuals. However, we also speak of lonely places. Sometimes, a place strikes us as lonely even when we do not feel lonely ourselves. On other occasions, finding a place lonely also involves feeling lonely, isolated, and lost. In this paper, I reflect on the phenomenological structure of loneliness by addressing what it is to experience a place as lonely. (...)
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  • Loneliness as Cause.Elena Popa - 2023 - Topoi 42 (5):1175-1184.
    While loneliness has been linked to various mental and physical health problems, the sense in which loneliness is a cause of these conditions has so far attracted little philosophical attention. This paper aims to fill this gap by analyzing research on health effects of loneliness and therapeutic interventions through current approaches to causality. To deal with the problem of causality between psychological, social, and biological variables, the paper endorses a biopsychosocial model of health and disease. I will investigate how three (...)
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  • “An illness of isolation, a disease of disconnection”: Depression and the erosion of we-experiences.Lucy Osler - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13.
    Depression is an affective disorder involving a significant change in an individual’s emotional and affective experiences. While the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition mentions that social impairment may occur in depression, first-person reports of depression consistently name isolation from others as a key feature of depression. I present a phenomenological analysis of how certain interpersonal relations are experienced in depression. In particular, I consider whether depressed individuals are able to enter into “we-experiences” with other people. We-experiences (...)
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  • Loneliness: From Absence of Other to Disruption of Self.Valeria N. Motta - 2023 - Topoi 42 (5):1143-1153.
    Loneliness is more complex and multi-faceted than it may appear at first glance. Most of the characterizations that we have of loneliness in the extant literature tend to focus on the absence of other people and on the social, mental, and physical distress that can be caused by this type of absence. Although the experience of absence may be a fundamental and encompassing aspect of loneliness, loneliness may also reflect a deeper, more complex experience. This paper integrates data from a (...)
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  • Absence of other and disruption of self: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of the meaning of loneliness in the context of life in a religious community.Valeria Motta & Michael Larkin - 2022 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 22 (1):55-80.
    Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) is an idiographic approach to qualitative research. It is widely used in psychologically-informed studies which aim to understand the meaning and context of specific experiences. In this paper, we provide some background and introduction to the principles and processes underpinning IPA research. We extend this via a practical example, reporting on selected analyses from a study which explores the phenomenology and meaning of loneliness, through interviews conducted with a group of religious women. Through our observations on (...)
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  • Loneliness at the age of COVID-19.Zohar Lederman - 2023 - Journal of Medical Ethics 49 (9):649-654.
    Loneliness has been a major concern for philosophers, poets and psychologists for centuries. In the past several decades, it has concerned clinicians and public health practitioners as well. The research on loneliness is urgent for several reasons. First, loneliness has been and still is extremely ubiquitous, potentially affecting people across multiple demographics and geographical areas. Second, it is philosophically intriguing, and its analysis delves into different branches of philosophy including phenomenology, existentialism, philosophy of mind, etc. Third, empirical research has shown (...)
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  • Interpersonal Connection.James Laing - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    We are social animals that seek to connect with others of our kind. This common thought stands in need of elaboration. In this article, I argue for three theses. First, that we pursue certain forms of communicative interaction for their own sake insofar as they are ways of connecting with another. Second, that interpersonal connection is a metaphysically primitive emotional relation which resists reductive analysis in terms of the states of individuals. And finally, that our desire for interpersonal connection has (...)
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  • Loneliness and absence in psychopathology.Joel Krueger, Lucy Osler & Tom Roberts - 2023 - Topoi 42 (5):1-16.
    Loneliness is a near-universal experience. It is particularly common for individuals with (so-called) psychopathological conditions or disorders. In this paper, we explore the experiential character of loneliness, with a specific emphasis on how social goods are experienced as absent in ways that involve a diminished sense of agency and recognition. We explore the role and experience of loneliness in three case studies: depression, anorexia nervosa, and autism. We demonstrate that even though experiences of loneliness might be common to many psychopathologies, (...)
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  • Communing with the Dead Online: Chatbots, Grief, and Continuing Bonds.Joel Krueger & Lucy Osler - 2022 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (9-10):222-252.
    Grief is, and has always been, technologically supported. From memorials and shrines to photos and saved voicemail messages, we engage with the dead through the technologies available to us. As our technologies evolve, so does how we grieve. In this paper, we consider the role chatbots might play in our grieving practices. Influenced by recent phenomenological work, we begin by thinking about the character of grief. Next, we consider work on developing “continuing bonds” with the dead. We argue that for (...)
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  • Extended loneliness. When hyperconnectivity makes us feel alone.Laura Candiotto - 2022 - Ethics and Information Technology 24 (4):1-11.
    In this paper, I analyse a specific kind of loneliness that can be experienced in the networked life, namely “extended loneliness”. I claim that loneliness—conceived of as stemming from a lack of satisfying relationships to others—can arise from an abundance of connections in the online sphere. Extended loneliness, in these cases, does not result from a lack of connections to other people. On the contrary, it consists in the complex affective experience of both lacking and longing for meaningful relationships while (...)
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  • Empathy with vicious perspectives? A puzzle about the moral limits of empathetic imagination.Olivia Bailey - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):9621-9647.
    Are there limits to what it is morally okay to imagine? More particularly, is imaginatively inhabiting morally suspect perspectives something that is off-limits for truly virtuous people? In this paper, I investigate the surprisingly fraught relation between virtue and a familiar form of imaginative perspective taking I call empathy. I draw out a puzzle about the relation between empathy and virtuousness. First, I present an argument to the effect that empathy with vicious attitudes is not, in fact, something that the (...)
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  • Affordances and absence in psychopathology.Joel Krueger - 2022 - In Zakaria Djebbara (ed.), Affordances in Everyday Life - A Multidisciplinary Collection of Essays,. Springer Nature. pp. 141-147.
    Affordances are action-possibilities, ways of relating to and acting on our world. A theory of affordances helps us understand how we have bodily access to our world and what it means to enjoy such access. But what happens to bodies when this access is somehow ruptured or impeded? This question is relevant to psychopathology. People with psychiatric disorders often describe feeling as though they’ve lost access to affordances that others take for granted. Focusing on schizophrenia, depression, and autistic spectrum disorder, (...)
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