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By Larry Davidson

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Additional info for Living Outside Mental Illness: Qualitative Studies of Recovery in Schizophrenia (Qualitative Studies in Psychology Series)

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Experience as the medium through which the world and all of its various objects are given to us must be intersubjective in na­ ture, for it is only on this basis that the world can be experienced by us as a shared world that we inhabit alongside other experiencing subjects rather than as my world or your world alone. Further development of this di­ mension (the so-called transcendental dimension) of Husserl’s thought will be taken up in chapter 3. Fortunately, however, we already have ar­ rived at where we need to be for our present purposes in order to define the “more,” and ground the alternative methods, of qualitative research.

Minkowski, for example, offered his insights ❙ 27 28 ❙ Introduction into schizophrenia based on the case of one patient whom he happened, by “happy circumstance,” to spend “night and day” with for an extended period of time (1970), while Binswanger (1963) based the bulk of his the­ ory of schizophrenia on five intensive case studies, which met his only precondition of having adequate case material and self-description available for analysis and interpretation. Karl Jaspers was the first to suggest the use of autobiographical accounts, preferring “good self-descriptions” to ac­ counts offered by patients in response to direct questions (1968).

We may have framed our primary research question already, albeit implicitly, but it will be useful in guiding our efforts to make this question both focused and ex­ plicit. It is: How does the person who has schizophrenia affect the course and outcome of the illness? With our focus being on processes of improvement, in particular, we may frame this question more specifically as: How do the person’s experiences and activities affect processes of recovery in schizophrenia? 32 ❙ Is There an Outside to Mental Illness?

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