The views of the followers of E.Minkowski R.D. Laing and J.Gabel on existential alienation
PDF (Українська)


existential, alienation, E.Minkovsky, R.D. Leing, J.Gabel

Abstract views: 63
PDF Downloads: 45

How to Cite

Zinevych, A. (2018). The views of the followers of E.Minkowski R.D. Laing and J.Gabel on existential alienation. Multiversum. Philosophical Almanac, (3-4), 118-135.


The article deals with the development of E.Minkowski’s concept of «morbid rationalism», as a cause of the alienation of consciousness from lived experience, by his followers R.D. Laing and J.Gabel. R.D. Laing considers the existential alienation as the alienation of the «false» or «outer self» from the «true,» or «inner self.» According to Laing, «false self» forms in the process of socialization as a socially acceptable image of thyself, which gradually suppresses and supersedes the true image. According to J.Gabel, the concept of the «morbid rationalism» should be extended to the «normal» state of a person, who doesn’t live, but leads an alienated reified existence as a thing, instrument, and social function. Both Laing and Gabel agree, that the «norm» is only a socially legalized form of alienation, while psychopathology is all, that differs from the first one. But if Laing considers schizophrenia to be the way to freedom from social masks, to return to the true self, for Minkowski schizophrenia, as a rebellion of existence against the violence of reason, is not a solution. So, the way out is not in the destruction of the subject, but in overcoming the alienation of one's consciousness from the world and people, in transcending one's partial «ego». Marcel and Minkowski overcome the dichotomy of consciousness-vs-the-world (and-vs-body), seeking to bother the person with his consciousness. They return consciousness to the body, treating man not simply as embodied consciousness, but as the oneness of body-existence-consciousness-spirit. And in this way, the absolutization of freedom is an obstacle. A person involved in the world (bodily, sensual), and in humanity (existentially, spiritually) - inevitably depends on them.
PDF (Українська)


Beveridge, A. (2011). Portrait of the Psychiatrist as a Young Man. The Early Writing and Work of R.D. Laing, 1927–1960. London: Oxford University Press.

Burston, D. (2014). Cyborgs, Zombies, and Planetary Death: Alienation in the 21st Century. The Humanistic Psychologist, 42, 283-291.

Vlasova, O.A. (2010). Phenomenological psychiatry and existential analysis: history, thinkers, problems. Moscow: Territory of the Future. [Іn Russian].

Deurzen, E. van. (1999). Existentialism and Existential Psychotherapy. In Heart and soul: The therapeutic face of philosophy. Mace, C. (Ed.). Florence, KY, US: Taylor & Frances/Routledge, 216-235.

Gabel, J. (1964). Anthropologie et dialectique [Georges Lapassade, L'entrée dans la vie. Essai sur l'inachèvement de l'homme] Annales. Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations. 19ᵉ année, № 2, 345-353.

Gabel, J. (1997). Eugene Minkowski and the problem of alienation. In Ideologies and the Corruption of Thought. New Brunswick: Transaction, 165-174.

Gabel, J. (1951). La Réification: Essai d'une psychopathologie de la pensée dialectique. Esprit Nouvelle Série, No. 183 (10) (Octobre), 459-482.

Lacan, J. (1935). Psychologie et esthétique. Recherches philosophiques, fac. 4, 424-431.

Laing, R.D. (1990). The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness. London: Penguin Books.

Laing, R.D. (1967). The Politics of Experience and the Bird of Paradise. London: Penguin Books.

Laing, R.D., Cooper D.G. (1990). Reason & violence: a decade of Sartre's philosophy 1950-1960. London & New York: Routledge.

Lakh, V.V. (1975). A critique of the intuition of modern bourgeois philosophy. Kyiv: Scientific Thought. [Іn Russian].

Liakh, V. V., Liakh, R. V. (2004). Freedom in the context of defining human existence: «ontological» structure and form of self-realization. In Freedom: modern dimensions and alternatives. Kyiv: Ukrainian Center for Spiritual Culture, 157-203. [Іn Russian].

Merleau-Ponty, M. (1961). Les Sciences de l'homme et la phénoménologie. Paris: CDU.

Minkowski, E. (1997). Au-delà du rationalisme morbide. Paris: L'Harmattan.

Pélicier, Y. (2013). Introduction. Vivre le temps: Eugène Minkowski. In Minkowski E. Le temps vecu. Études phénoménologique et psycho-pathologiques. Paris: PUF.

Plock, S. du. (2015). Work with the incurable: building a therapeutic alliance with chronic schizophrenic. Existential tradition: philosophy, psychology, psychotherapy, No. 1/2015(26), 121-129. [Іn Russian].

Sartre J.-P. (1965). La transcendance de l’Ego. Esquisse d’une description phénoménologique. Paris: Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin.

Sass, L.A. (2001). Self and World in Schizophrenia: Three Classic Ap-proaches. Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology, Vol. 8, № 4 (Dec.), 251-270.

Spiegelberg, H. (1972). Phenomenology in Psychology and Psychiatry. A Historical Introduction. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

Tatossian, A. (1991). Eugene Minkowski ou l’occasion manquee. Psychiatrie et existence. Paris: Jerome Million, 11-22.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Download data is not yet available.