acknowledging the similarities of thinking in both Muslim and Western philosophy (see also Marks 2010 and Sedgwick 2016 ). Throughout the book I return to these philosophies when analysing the differences and similarities of psychiatric healthcare and Islamic exorcism.
In Maurice Merleau-Ponty's ( 2002 ) phenomenology of perception, the invisible is described as an implication and a necessary part of all human perception. Indeed, it is a condition for perception. Merleau-Ponty explores this hypothesis at the level of motor
Pollution, contamination and the neglected dead in post-war Saigon
on the dead and ‘press them into service’ (Lévi-Strauss 1992:
233). He notes that in all societies ‘a form of sharing cannot be avoided’
between the living and the deceased (233).
For Hegel in the Phenomenology of Spirit (paragraphs 452 and 453) the
ethical nature of the family is revealed in the act of burial and of caring
for the dead (1977: 270–2). I work through this insight by focusing on
violations of what Hegel analyses as fundamental ethical norms revealed
in the care for the dead.
In ‘Miasma’, Taussig (2004) reflects on the interactions between marshes
Mark Doidge, Radosław Kossakowski and Svenja Mintert
phenomena. They are learned in social relationships, initially
the primary group of the family.’ The feelings one consciously summons
are reminisces of past interaction. Anxiety derives from memories of
social difficulty or past frustration or sadness at yet another failure by
the team. Once again, the team is seen as ontologically an extension
of the self. Fear of failure of the team feels as real as the trepidation of
Here, phenomenology can help our understanding. Phenomenology
seeks to describe how the individual experiences phenomena. Centralising
al. 2016). These applications work through data walking’s potential
to create a phenomenology of data, and link this process to previous ethnographic explorations that focus on space, movement and
context in the production of knowledge (Lee and Ingold 2006).
Through the framework provided by the observational roles and the
kinds of data relationships they are asked to observe, participants
construct a narrative for how they define and critique data in place.
The whole experience, based on an encounter between participatory ethnography and devised performance
officially deeming as ungrievable – even in the private sphere – the millions who
suffered death because of the regime.
As the foregoing theoretical approaches suggest, each in its own
way, we are dealing with deep layers of the constitution and change
of political and moral communities, with phenomena that eschew
simple rationalisations and explanations. Whether we take psychoanalysis, phenomenology, critical theory or even (to some extent)
structural functionalism as our theoretical frame of reference, they
all point to an excess of meaning and affect
curious figures – the Knight of Infinite Resignation, capable only of relinquishing the visible and finite world, and the Knight of Faith, capable of grasping finitude on the strength of the absurd. In a certain way, Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of perception can be understood in terms of these movements of resignation and faith. His whole philosophy consisted of an attempt to establish that we are indeed a part of this world. Human perception does not merely exist within us, but occurs to us through our embeddedness in the infinite web of viewpoints that surrounds us
‘the presence of an unthinkable in thought’ and ‘the presence to infinity of another thinker in the thinker, who shatters every monologue of a thinking self’ (2005b: 163; see also Marks 2010 : 69).
In this context I understand Hegel's notion of self-consciousness as the freedom and peace of mind that can be experienced upon realising that autonomous mastery is not possible. Hegel's phenomenology parallels that of Merleau-Ponty when he describes the dependency of subjective human vision on the vast, normative, all-encompassing viewpoint that