Affection of contact and transcendental telepathy in schizophrenia and autism

Yasuhiko Murakami

pp. 179-194

This paper seeks to demonstrate the structural difference in communication of schizophrenia and autism. For a normal adult, spontaneous communication is nothing but the transmission of phantasía (thought) by means of perceptual objects or language. This transmission is first observed in a make-believe play of child. Husserl named this function "perceptual phantasía," and this function presupposes as its basis the "internalized affection of contact" (which functions empirically in eye contact, body contact, or voice calling me). Regarding autism, because of the innate lack of affection of contact, intersubjective perceptual phantasía does not occur spontaneously. Consequently, autistics do not engage in make-believe play but in stereotyped and solipsistic play. Without the formation of perceptual phantasía, there is no differentiation between phantasía and perception. For this reason, people with Asperger's syndrome consider conversation not an immediate communication of thought but a logical transmission of concepts. Schizophrenia is characterized by a distortion in the internalized affection of contact, resulting in a disturbance of perceptual phantasía, and this later is covered by various symptoms—for example, delusion as a pathological kind of communication of thought. This delusion is based on the pathological internalized affection of contact represented by a terrifying Other.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s11097-010-9193-8

Full citation:

Murakami, Y. (2013). Affection of contact and transcendental telepathy in schizophrenia and autism. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (1), pp. 179-194.

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