The Perks of Understanding and the case with the Experience of Time in Depression

Keywords: philosophy, psychiatry, time perception, depression, understanding, explaining


The methodological differences of understanding, versus explaining, have been at the centre of a century-long methodenstreit debate (and disagreement) among philosophers and scientists. Karl Jaspers managed to import this discussion to the realm of psychiatry and psychopathology in a significant, but unresolved, manner. Side-tracked by the advent of various changes in psychiatry during the 20th century, phenomenology and philosophy of psychiatry have made a comeback in the last decades and, since then, developed new contributions to this subject. Quite similarly, the study of time experience, standing on the shoulders of notorious philosophers, has too witnessed a similar renaissance, with groundbreaking developments across several conditions, including depression.

The present essay is essentially exploratory, but during its development, after addressing the concepts of the methodenstreit debate, and tackling both meaningful and causal connections behind time dysperception in depression, I argue that understanding, at least in this context and at present time, is not entirely reducible to causal explanations, for some things are only gained in understanding, such as the feeling of being understood and the implications it carries for a therapeutic relationship and the treatment plan.

How to Cite
Gouveia, P. A. (2023). The Perks of Understanding and the case with the Experience of Time in Depression. HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies, 16(43), 193-216. Retrieved from