Guido Cusinato


So far, the value dimension underlying affectivity disorders has remained out of focus in phenomenological psychopathology. As early as at the beginning of the 20th century, however, German phenomenologist Max Scheler examined in depth the relationship between affectivity and value dimension through the concept of valueception (Wertnehmung). In this sense, a recent noteworthy contribution has been provided by John Cutting, who has drawn attention to the importance of Scheler’s analyses for psychiatry. In this work I take into consideration only two aspects of Cutting’s proposal: 1) the relationship between the impairments of valueception and the perception of certain value classes; and 2) the interpretation of Scheler’s phenomenological reduction and its juxtaposition with the schizophrenic’s modus vivendi. According to Cutting, in the modus vivendi of persons with schizophrenia the valueception impairment entails putting vital values in brackets and focusing on personal values, with a process that recalls Scheler’s phenomenological reduction. Regarding the first aspect, I share Cutting’s starting point, but then shift the focus on how important the valueception is for the intersubjective dimension. In particular, I maintain that rather than compromising the perception of vital values, valueception impairments in the modus vivendi of persons with schizophrenia interfere with the intersubjective dimension and are interwoven with a process of disembodiment. My thesis is that the modus vivendi of schizophrenia involves a disturbance of the intersubjective dimension that arises from the level of valueception and that determines the person’s self-referential closure. With regard to the second point, by analyzing Scheler’s phenomenological reduction, I sustain that its main objective is to increase both the interaction with otherness and the openness to the world (Weltoffenheit). As a consequence, the modus vivendi of persons with schizophrenia, in my opinion, is not comparable, as Cutting claims, with Scheler’s phenomenological reduction, but goes in a different direction.


Phenomenological Reduction; Valueception; Schizophrenia; Insensitivity; Enactivism; Intersubjectivity; Psychopathology of ordo amoris; Max Scheler; Paul Schreber

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