The Eternal Now: Phenomenology and the Temporal Structure of Depression
Contemporary phenomenological accounts of depression have been increasingly focused on the temporal structure of the condition. In this article, I discuss the accounts proposed by Fuchs, Ratcliffe and Fernandez, and show how each of them faces significant drawbacks. I argue that this is primarily due to the fact that they employ a Husserlian model of temporal experience. Because on this account all temporal dimensions – past, present, and future – are conceived of as present in intentional experience, the meaning of a depressed person being ‘stuck in the present’ cannot become clear. Instead, I propose a conception of the temporal structure of depression based on Heidegger’s twofold account of temporality. On this account, depression essentially involves a disruption of the enactment of primordial time. I show how this account avoids the drawbacks of the others, while it is still able to accommodate persuasive features of their descriptions of the depressive experience.
Faculteit der Filosofie, Theologie en Religiewetenschappen