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James MorleyProfessor of Clinical Psychology

Year Joined RCNJ: 2002

Contact Information

  • Phone: (201) 684-7852 (best to use e-mail)
  • Email:
  • Office: G-203
  • Office Hours: MR 2:00-3:45

James Morley received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Duquesne University in 1988. He has held teaching positions in Connecticut, India, and England before coming to Ramapo College in 2002 where he is teaching courses in Abnormal Psychology (Psychopathology), Personality Theory, Phenomenology, and the Psychology of Yoga. Morley’s generalist interests are in the theoretical foundations of psychology as a science and the application of continental thought to topics such as imagination, human development, and contemplative practices. He is particularly interested in the thought of Husserl, Heidegger, and especially Merleau-Ponty’s ontology of embodied experience as a basis for a reappraisal of psychological theory and practice. He has edited an edition of Phenomenology and Cognitive Science on ‘Imagination’ (2005), co-edited a text on Merleau-Ponty and social science (1999) and, with James Phillips, a collection of essays titled Imagination and its Pathologies released by MIT Press (2003). He publishes and consults in the field of phenomenological psychology and qualitative methodology. Currently he is Associate Editor for the Journal of Phenomenological Psychology.


  • B.A., Ramapo College of New Jersey
  • M.A., Duquesne University
  • Ph.D. Duquesne University

Convening Group:

  • Psychology (primary)
  • Philosophy (secondary)

Courses Offered:

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Personality Theory;
  • Psychology of Yoga
  • Special Topics: Phenomenology of Human Development
  • Fieldwork: Adult and Abnormal.

Teaching Interest:

  • As an existential-phenomenological psychologist I have become increasingly interested in the application of experiential learning techniques to the intellectual development of my students. Also, having lived much of my life overseas in India and Europe, my teaching often emphasizes the importance of a cultural perspective. In this light, my work with the India semester abroad program has been particularly rewarding. Lately, I have been experimenting with the application of yoga techniques to classroom learning.

Research Interest:

  • My research strives to apply the insights of continental philosophy to the problems of ontological dualism in psychology. I work mostly with the writings of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, and most particularly the French thinker Maurice Merleau-Ponty to articulate a psychology grounded in the ‘living body’ that exists prior to any split between subjective interiority or objective exteriority. With this ontological approach, my research has addressed the issues of qualitative methodology, imagination, human development, psychopathology and Asian thought.

Recent Publications:

Edited Essay Collections:

  • 2005 – (guest editor) ‘On Imagination’ Special Edition of the Journal Phenomenology and Cognitive Science, vol 4 (2).
  • 2003 – (co-edited with J. Phillips) Imagination and its pathologies. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press.
  • 1999 – (co-edited with D. Olkowski) Merleau-Ponty: interiority and exteriority, psychic life and the world. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Contributions to Books:

  • 2003 – ‘The texture of the real: Merleau-Ponty, imagination, and psychopathology’ in J. Morley and J. Phillips (eds.) Imagination and its pathologies. Cambridge: M.I.T. Press.
  • 2003 – ‘Introduction’ (co-authored with James Phillips) in J. Morley and J. Phillips (eds.)Imagination and its pathologies. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. (In press) Each author composed roughly 50% of the Chapter.
  • 2000 – ‘Epigenesis and ontogenesis: A dialogue between Merleau-Ponty’s ontology and Erik Erikson’s psycho-social theory of human development’ in L. Hass, (ed.), Rereading Merleau-Ponty: essays across the continental-analytic divide. Humanity Press International.
  • 1999 – ‘Afterword’ to J. Morley and D. Olkowski (eds.), Merleau-Ponty: interiority and exteriority, psychic life and the world. State University of New York Press.
  • 1998 – ‘Introduction’ to Knowing the mind: classical yoga meditation by T.K.V. Desikachar. East-West Press.

Articles in Journals:

  • 2008 – ‘Embodied consciousness in Tantric Yoga and the Phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty’Religion and the Arts vol 12, (1).
  • 2007 – ‘Taking Religious Experience Seriously’ Commentary for Psychiatry, Philosophy, and Psychology, Psychiatry, Philosophy, and Psychology, vol 13, (3).
  • 2005 – ‘Introduction: Phenomenology of Imagination’ Special Edition of the JournalPhenomenology and Cognitive Science, vol 4 (2).
  • 2002 – ‘Phenomenological and Biological Psychiatry: Complimentary or Mutual?’ Commentary for Psychiatry, Philosophy, and Psychology, vol 9, (1).
  • 2001 – ‘Inspiration and expiration: yoga practice through Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of embodiment’ Philosophy East and West, vol. 51, (1).
  • 1999 – ‘The sleeping subject: Merleau-Ponty on dreaming’ in Theory and Psychology, vol. 9, (1).
  • 1998 – ‘A phenomenological investigation of daydreaming’ in The Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, vol. 29, (1).
  • 1996 – ‘Holistic biology and the organismic foundations of humanistic psychology’ in The Humanistic Psychologist, vol. 23, (3).

Non-refereed publications:

  • 2006 – ‘Phenomenologizing Naturalism: On Fransico Varela’s project’ A commentary for theNewsletter of the American Society for Philosophy and Psychiatry. vol. 12 (2)
  • 2000 – ‘Convergence’s between Western existential-phenomenology and classical Indian yoga’ in The Transpersonal Review. Vol. 2, Spring.A publication of the Transpersonal Section of the British Psychological Society
  • 1995 – ‘Stress in America’ in Darsanam, vol. 4 (2).
  • 1989 – ‘Fighting the monster: postmodern malaise and the mission of phenomenological psychology’ in proceedings of the conference, Phenomenological Psychology and the University: A Cultural Analysis. Duquesne University Conference Proceedings.

Book reviews:

  • 2006 – Carman, T. & Hanson M. (Eds.) (2005). The Cambridge Companion to Merleau-Ponty. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. For the Journal of Phenomenological Psychology. vol. 37 (2).
  • 2005 – Renaud Barbaras The being of the phenomenon: Merleau-Ponty’s Ontology, Bloomington Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2004, for the Journal of phenomenological Psychology, vol 36 (2).
  • 1995 – Micale, M.S. (ed.) Beyond the unconscious: essays of Henri F. Ellenberger in the history of psychiatry, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993, for The Newsletter of the Association for Philosophy and Psychiatry, vol 2 (2).
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