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Ann Acad Med Stetin, 2006; 52, 1, 119-124




Katedra Pedagogiki Wyższej Szkoły Pedagogicznej w Warszawie

ul. Unisławy 26, 71-413 Szczecin

Kierownik: dr hab. prof. WSP TWP Aleksandra Żukrowska



Purpose: This text was inspired by an article in psychooncology: “The influence of psychotherapy on the extension of life in people with advanced cancer”. I intend to show that cancer causes disintegration (“explosion”) of a person’s subjective world.

Material and methods (philosophical discourse): Categories of the personal world and the subjective world are introduced and the reality of the subjective world is accepted.

The following connotations are essential to further discussion:

– The mind acts on the body. The psychic state (therefore the state of the brain) is reflected in states and processes localized outside the brain. The epistemologist desires to discover the causal mechanism that explains these effects.

– The body may act on the mind. Overwhelming evidence has accumulated that disorders of the mind may be caused by disturbances of processes in the nervous system. I reject the view that “the brain is the cause of the mind”.

Conclusions: Every person lives in his or her own, private, subjective world. It is a relatively stable world of personal memories, observations and imaginations. This world extends in subjective time and space. Its content is composed of conscious psychic experiences, one after another. Experiences create the stream of consciousness.

Serious illness leads to the explosion or disintegration of subjective world, destruction of one’s sense of personal identity, impossibility of autoreflection, and loss of sense of living. In such cases, individualized psychotherapeutic intervention proves to be irreplaceable.

K e y w o r d s: subjective world – person – philosophy of mind – intentionality – noema – self-knowledge.

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