Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences

Official Journal of Crossing Dialogues

Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences

The official journal of Crossing Dialogues

Volume 13, Issue 1 (June 2020)


Phenomenology of hallucinations: the contribution of Henri Ey's organodynamism to the appraisal of qualitative differences

Massimiliano Aragona

Recent research interpreting every hallucination as a dissociative phenomenon renewed the interest for classical studies on hallucinations and consciousness in psychoses. One of the early psychopathologists who extensively wrote on this issue is Henri Ey. He proposed a model, called organodynamism, which was based on neo-Jacksonian ideas about progressive dissolution of consciousness states, interpreting psychopathological phenomena as the emergence of disinhibited low level mental functions. From this point of view, hallucinations are not perceptual disturbances but one of the phenomena emerging from the lowering of psychic tension created by basic disturbances.
Useful lessons we can learn from this theory are: a) hallucinations are not all the same. A closer analysis of the qualitative differences between apparently similar phenomena is needed (particularly in current empirical studies that, using simple psychiatric scales, are unequipped to detect them); b) The clinical picture varies during the clinical course, so transversal description is not to be confused with steady reality; c) A phenomenological study of hallucinations as isolated objects is pointless, they must be considered in a figure-ground dynamic, the ground being the overall clinical picture, the state of consciousness, the personality of the subject, etc.

auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH), pseudohallucinations, phenomenology, consciousness dissociation, psychosis, French psychopathology

Dial Phil Ment Neuro Sci 2020; 13(1): 8-12

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Received on March 12, 2020
Accepted on April 05, 2020
Firstly published online on May 26, 2020

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