Schizophrenic autism, as originally intended by Eugen Bleuler, signifies a pathognomic form of motivated unmooring from the world into a state of asocial fantasy. In this article we discuss the unity of the three key aspects of this autism: (i) an altered relation to reality; (ii) a distinctive fantasy-involving form of thinking; and (iii) a motivated retreat from the world. Phenomenological psychiatry deepens our understanding of (i) by theorizing it in terms of disturbed pre-reflective intersubjective engagement, yet it deprecates the criteria of (ii) fantasy and (iii) motivation. We question the assumptions behind this deprecation, re-theorizing (ii) as withdrawal to a state in which a fantasy/reality distinction is compromised, and reinstating the motivational criterion (iii) through recovering a properly pre-reflective conception of dynamic motivation. The result is a conception of autism which preserves the unity of Bleuler’s concept by unifying phenomenological and psychoanalytical perspectives on the intersubjective constitution of selfhood.
|Title of host publication||The Oxford Handbook of Phenomenological Psychopathology|
|Editors||Giovanni Stanghellini, Matthew Broome, Andrea Raballo, Anthony Vincent Fernandez, Paolo Fusar-Poli, René Rosfort|
|Place of Publication||Oxford|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Publication status||Published - 2 Apr 2018|