Watsuji's phenomenology of aidagara: An interpretation and application to psychopathology

In S. Taguchi & Andrea Altobrando (eds.), Tetsugaku Companion to Phenomenology and Japanese Philosophy. Springer. pp. 165-181 (forthcoming)
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I discuss Watsuji’s characterization of aidagara or “betweenness”. First, I develop a phenomenological reading of aidagara. I argue that the notion can help illuminate aspects of our embodied subjectivity and its interrelation with the world and others. Along the way, I also indicate how the notion can be fruitfully supplemented by different sources of empirical research. Second, I put aidagara to work in the context of psychopathology. I show how disruptions of aidagara in schizophrenia not only affirm the foundational role it plays in organizing our experience of self and world in everyday life. Additionally, I suggest the notion can, in this context of application, potentially enhance our understanding of and empathy for those living with schizophrenic disorders.

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Joel Krueger
University of Exeter


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