The Hideout, the Underground, and Avoidance of Non-Being: Tischner, Dostoevsky and Tillich on Personality Disorders

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Konrad Banicki


An attempt is made to develop a basic framework for an existential-phenomenological perspective on personality disorders. Its starting point is taken from the psychiatrist Antoni Kępiński and the philosopher Józef Tischner. The former provides a clinical framework capacious enough to allow ethical, existential, and phenomenological explorations. This conceptual “space” is then explicitly recognized, addressed, and fulfilled by the latter’s investigation of personality dynamics proper to “the hideout.” In order to supplement this thread of thought with a specific illustration, a “case” provided by Fyodor Dostoevsky in his Notes from the Underground is investigated. Then, in turn, Paul Tillich’s The Courage to Be is referred to, so that the deepest roots of personality disorders can be identified with an ontological dynamic proper to the avoidance of non-being. Finally, some brief remarks are made concerning how all the above relates to the idea of a normatively neutral science and how it can be integrated with more up to date clinical practice.


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Banicki, Konrad. 2022. “The Hideout, the Underground, and Avoidance of Non-Being: Tischner, Dostoevsky and Tillich on Personality Disorders”. Diametros 19 (71):1-14.
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