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A Phenomenology of Fear

A Phenomenology of Fear 165 A PHENOMENOLOGY OF FEAR Jose M. Arcaya INTRODUCTION Fear has been the subject of extensive study by experimental psychologists (see Strongman, 1973; Zuckerman and Speilberger, 1976 for complete reviews). It has also received attention from physiologists (Levi, 1975), sociologists (Becker, 1973), and countless fictional writers. However, apart from a small group of phenomenological philosophers and psychologists - a sampling of whose work we will examine later-it has received little clarifica- tion regarding its first person, lived meaning. That is, fear has been interpreted to be an objective event rather than a subjective experience. Most researchers, presupposing that they understand the phenomenon, have focused almost exclusively on its objectifiable characteristics. For instance, fear has been studied in terms of its central nervous system underpinnings (Levi, 1975), the en- vironmental stimuli which precipitate its occurrence (Miller, 1948), and the social ramifications which follow its onset (Watson & Rayner, 1920). While the results yielded from these studies have broadened our appreciation of the phenomenon, they have overlooked the internal dimension of fear as experienced by the subject. Approaching the phenomenon from a natural science paradigm, they have treated it, as well as other human emotions, as measurable entities. They have http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Phenomenological Psychology Brill

A Phenomenology of Fear

Journal of Phenomenological Psychology , Volume 10 (2): 165 – Jan 1, 1979

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 1979 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0047-2662
eISSN
1569-1624
DOI
10.1163/156916279X00121
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

165 A PHENOMENOLOGY OF FEAR Jose M. Arcaya INTRODUCTION Fear has been the subject of extensive study by experimental psychologists (see Strongman, 1973; Zuckerman and Speilberger, 1976 for complete reviews). It has also received attention from physiologists (Levi, 1975), sociologists (Becker, 1973), and countless fictional writers. However, apart from a small group of phenomenological philosophers and psychologists - a sampling of whose work we will examine later-it has received little clarifica- tion regarding its first person, lived meaning. That is, fear has been interpreted to be an objective event rather than a subjective experience. Most researchers, presupposing that they understand the phenomenon, have focused almost exclusively on its objectifiable characteristics. For instance, fear has been studied in terms of its central nervous system underpinnings (Levi, 1975), the en- vironmental stimuli which precipitate its occurrence (Miller, 1948), and the social ramifications which follow its onset (Watson & Rayner, 1920). While the results yielded from these studies have broadened our appreciation of the phenomenon, they have overlooked the internal dimension of fear as experienced by the subject. Approaching the phenomenon from a natural science paradigm, they have treated it, as well as other human emotions, as measurable entities. They have

Journal

Journal of Phenomenological PsychologyBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1979

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