between Dr Todd DuBose
and Prof Ernesto Spinelli
27 April 2024
This dialogue will explore how we can research experiences that resist or exceed our typical frames by which we know, name, understand, see, and grasp events, including in both natural and human science ways. We will lean on Heidegger’s later thought on the phenomenology of the inapparent and its relationship to the thought of various French phenomenologists in what is known as the “new phenomenology”, a movement that invited both proponents and opponents of what has come to be known as the “theological turn” in phenomenology. Researchers and practitioners of care have traditionally made it their prerogative to translate the unknown to the known, privileging the latter over the temporary inconvenience of the former, and defining competence as the one who knows, concludes, utilizes, conceptualizes, operationalizes, engineers, and commodifies. I propose, though, that lived meaning, although ubiquitous and what is of most concern to us in each and every moment of our lives, nonetheless conceals as much as it reveals, as in icons and traces, such that its showing also reveals what does not (and perhaps cannot) show itself, particularly in typical ways we demand how something appears. Where does that leave us, though, as researchers and therapoets when, to put it in Michel Henry’s language, “Life” is experienced but not “seen” (objectified, grasped) and cannot be studied by science (natural or human)? Nevertheless, the therapoet’s task is to be the clearing-as-“letting” so that what is, can be, even, if not especially, ungraspable and inapparent!” Dr Todd DuBose
Dr Todd DuBose is a world-renowned, Distinguished Full Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, he teaches philosophical foundations and practices of human science psychology and has been the coordinator for the existential-hermeneutical-phenomenological orientation for therapeutic care. He holds degrees in continental and comparative philosophy of religion and existential-hermeneutical-phenomenological human science clinical psychology and integrates these approaches in caring for experiences of the impossible (no way out, boundary or limited situations), and extreme experiences (such as psychosis, nihilism, suicidal and homicidal,…). He was one of the co-founders of the American Association for Existential Analysis, today the American Institute for Daseinsanalysis. He is the founder of The Khora Institute, which focuses on caring for people who get left out or subjugated by hegemonic practices of institutional care. He has most recently published on hope and existential survival in the COVID-19 pandemic and has also recently written a short dialogue with Miles Groth, edited by Loray Daws, called Dialogues on the Soul of Existential Therapy, published by the Society for Existential Analysis.
Recommended reading for Ungraspable:
Alvis, J. (2018). Making sense of Heidegger’s ‘phenomenology of the inconspicuous’ or inapparent (Phänomenologie des Unscheinbaren). First Published online: 22 June 2017. Cont Philos Rev (2018) 51:211–238 https://doi.org/10.1007/s11007-017-9422-8.
Janicaud, D., et. al. (2000). Phenomenology and the “Theological Turn”: The French debate. Fordham University Press.
McNeill, W. (2020). The fate of phenomenology: Heidegger’s legacy. Rowman & Littlefield.
Simmons, J. and Benson, B. (2013). The new phenomenology: A philosophical introduction. Bloomsbury.