- Hardcover: 203 pages
- Publisher: Praeger (June 23, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1440840288
- ISBN-13: 978-1440840289
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,724,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Feeling Lonesome: The Philosophy and Psychology of Loneliness
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Canadian Philosophical Reviews Ben L Mijuskovic, Ph.D., LCSW possess the rare interdisciplinary pedigree which empowers him to speak both toacademic and practical concerns. With advanced degrees in bothphilosophy and literature, he examines numerous aspects of loneliness in his sweeping study. His three decades as a licensed therapist groundshis arguments in practical, clinical experiences. He has observedloneliness at play in children, adolescents, and adults in psychiatricand medical hospitals, state institutions, and mental health facilities. The book encapsulates his lifelong study and extends a richphilosophical exploration of rationalism and phenomenology in order tocaution practitioners about the dangers of empirical and cognitiveapproaches to mental health. His work serves as a mediator between twoacademic communities and deserves careful attention from bothphilosophical and psychological audiences. The book opens with a chapter on historical and conceptual foundations to assert that it is an apriori state of existence rooted in the nature of self-reflexivity which must be transcended throughout life in community only after it isexpressed, recognized, and confronted. Loneliness occurs concurrent tothe infant's conscious development as her alienation from other objectsand from her mother eventuate in self-identification as an isolatedbeing in the world. Mijuskovic's preference for philosophical firstprinciples permits him to correlate metaphysical dualism, subjectiveidealist consciousness, and loneliness throughout his study. ChaptersTwo through Four tackle philosophical dimensions of his theory ofloneliness, including self-consciousness, reflexivity, intentionality,transcendence, and phenomenology. These chapters present a historicalapproach to loneliness within a philosophical framework developed over40 years of academic inquiry and publishing. He challenges his readersto examine how these philosophical claims hold serious ramifications and possibilities as corrective measures to the overly materialistic ,behaviorist paradigm in contemporary psychiatric practices. In chaptersFive through Eight, he moves from philosophy to psychology, from themind to the self. He addresses the practitioner; however,philosophically inclined readers will better understand the praxis ofphilosophy of mind in psychiatric and psychological arenas. Chapter Five features his "umbrella concept" of loneliness as an emotional andcognitive experience akin to Husserl's "free imaginative variation."Chapters Six and Seven exposes weaknesses in behavioral and cognitivepsychological assumptions through discussions of the unconscious, thesubconscious and he concurs with Husserlean phenomenology concerning the primacy of consciousness over language. The final chapter addressesseveral therapeutic measures, including empathy, friendship andreligious practices. Feeling Lonesome is a must read for anyoneinterested in philosophy of mind, philosophical psychology, orloneliness. It touches on our most private selves; our insularity, andour innermost existence in a uniquely interdisciplinary perspective.Mijuskovic encapsulates a life of rich philosophical investigationswhile tempering and empowering his narrative with therapeuticpracticality. Michael D. Bob, Johns Hopkins University
"Mijuskovic makes a powerful and very persuasive argument for his position, and one learns an enormous amount in following the argument of his superb book." - Philosophy in Review
"Feeling Lonesome is a must read for anyone interested in philosophy of mind, philosophical psychology, or lonelines. . . . Ben Lazare Mijuskovic, PhD., LCSW possesses the rare interdisciplinary pedigree which empowers him to speak to both academic and practical concerns. . . . Feeling Lonesome encapsulates his lifelong study . . . it touches upon our most private selves, our insularity, and our innermost existence in a uniquely interdisciplinary perspective. Mijuskovic encapsulates a life of rich philosophical investigation while tempering his narrative with therapeutic practicality." - Dialogue
"Mijuskovic's Feeling Lonesome is a well-researched, highly intricate and aptly argued contribution to the study of phenomenology. For the theoretical philosopher, the book is a rich source of gripping debates which draws from a variety of great thinkers. For the psychologist, anthropologist, and general social scientist, he has much to offer on the human condition. For those currently struggling to escape the clutches of loneliness, the author offers an insightful and worthwhile approach to understanding how and why we feel lonesome and what can be done to change it." --Journal of Thought
"Ben Mijuskovic’s lifelong exploration of our human condition culminates in this seminal study of loneliness. The investigation traces its etiologies in the philosophical traditions, its presence and influences in literature, and its manifestations in psychological behaviors and practices. Finally, it debunks current psychiatric practices of overmedication and superficially expedient therapies. Not only does the text help us understand the dispositions of loneliness, but it offers means to guard against it. Warning readers of the dangers of retreat into interiority, the author argues for our using our consciousness transitively to go beyond the confines of that consciousness so besotted by loneliness. As in previous works, Mijuskovic casts his thesis in a pool of considerable disciplinary context. Let’s celebrate both this marvelous study and its compelling and wise assertion: we must strive for and seek goals and values beyond the self in order to lead meaningful lives."—Patricia Cherin, Professor Emeritus, Interdisciplinary Studies, California State University, Dominguez Hills
"Loneliness is part of the human condition. We are deeply social animals, yet each of us experiences the world as an 'I' subject. I think (and feel and act), therefore I am. Ben Lazare Mijuskovic offers a systematic study of loneliness, informed by his rich knowledge of the history of philosophy and of psychoanalysis, and shaped by his reading of literature and his work as a therapist. The move from Plato onward, with knowledge of literature, into psychoanalytic work, is terrific. An incisive study of a crucial aspect of human experience."—David Woodruff Smith, Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, University of California at Irvine
"There is always a risk in marshaling the arguments of leading philosophers, linguists, and personality theorists and the insights of novelists that the treatment will be superficial, but this study thoughtfully and thoroughly considers the contributions of all these leading intellects across disciplines to the concept of loneliness. Moreover, Mijuskovic avoids simplistic approaches to make his case that reflexivity is the prison of loneliness. That is, he does not simply define human beings as innately lonely or argue for such a definition of humanity. He explains why human beings are innately lonely and offers in the last chapter strategies for dealing with the human sense of isolation. In all, this is a perspicacious treatment of the problem, a careful assessment of the contributions to the concept from leading thinkers and novelists, and a thoughtful analysis of avenues of escape through empathic intimacy."
—George Schedler, Emeritus professor of philosophy, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
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