BPPA Seminar Series – Eating Disorders and Shame: A Phenomenological Investigation

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The British Postgraduate Philosophy Association invites attendance to their online seminar series, this Friday with Cathrin Fischer (University College Dublin).

The British Postgraduate Philosophy Association Seminar Series
Cathrin Fischer (University College Dublin): ‘Eating Disorders and Shame: A Phenomenological Investigation’.
Zoom on Friday 5 March, 4–5pm GMT.

The organisers are excited to invite attendance to the first meeting of the British Postgraduate Philosophy Association (BPPA) Seminar Series! This week, Cathrin Fischer from University College Dublin presents a paper entitled ‘Eating Disorders and Shame: A Phenomenological Investigation’. Here is a short abstract of the talk:

Eating disorders are commonly understood as pathologies of disembodiment or disordered body image. In this paper, I seek to provide an account of Anorexia Nervosa (AN) and Bulimia Nervosa (BN) that is reflective of their lived experience. I consider how phenomenological concepts of body, mind and intersubjectivity from Merleau-Ponty and Sartre might inform our understanding of eating disorders. I first refer to the centrality of the body in phenomenology, and the objective and subjective dimensions of bodily experience, to characterise AN and BN as radically bodily. Next, I use a Sartrean account of shame to trace how individuals, particularly women, come to experience their bodies as shamefully large, uncontrollable and objectified ; through culturally and inter-subjectively constituted interpretations of their selfhood and bodily experience. This allows me to offer a subtle differentiation between AN and BN, which are commonly conflated in psychological literature. As proposed by Goss and Gilbert (2007), AN involves a shame-pride cycle and I build on their account of binge eating to suggest that BN involves a shame-shame-shame cycle. I conclude with some implications for the treatment of eating disorders.

The meeting will be hosted on Zoom on Friday (5 March), 4–5pm GMT. If you would like the link to attend this session or join at a latter date, please sign up using this form: https://forms.gle/9QCmMFCSakewV2c6A