Self and suffering in buddhism and phenomenology
existential pain, compassion and the problems of institutional healthcare
By bringing together the Buddhist notion that suffering is intrinsic to all forms of our self-experience with Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological interpretation of selfhood in terms of the "habit-body," I show that vulnerability and meaningfulness go hand-in-hand. I then use this developed understanding of the nature of selfhood and suffering as the basis for a critique of various foundational aspects of contemporary, institutionalized healthcare. In particular, I consider ways in which oppressive social and political practices are instituted when the existential dimensions of pain are ignored and a medical model, based on the vision of pain as an alien threat to be eliminated, is adopted instead.
Russon, J. (2016)., Self and suffering in buddhism and phenomenology: existential pain, compassion and the problems of institutional healthcare, in S. K. George & P. G. Jung (eds.), Cultural ontology of the self in pain, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 181-195.
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