It is in "Amour et raison", his second book published in France, that Frans VELDMAN provides some elements of his intellectual and biographical journey, something he was usually rather reticent about, most of the time removing himself from the discovery, especially on pages 145, "That which preceded my studies and research" and 389 in the'' Epilogue "of the same book. Those who have accompanied him over time in his teaching and research can testify to the factthat he embodied not only the authenticity of his ideas and his taste for the Good and the Beautiful of life, but also the tireless intellectual method of the researcher.
He describes the decisive experiences that led him in his search since the adolescence. Highly curious, independently-minded, in a period of limited material resources due to the crises of the 20s, during the war he experienced events decisive for his fate.
He himself said to have introduced for the first time in the early 1950 his concept of the empirical phenomenology of contact, called "psychotactile", and of "affective closeness", preceding the notion of haptonomy, on the occasion of a medical conference.
One can imagine the resistance he encountered within the norm of reserved and authoritarian distance of the medical profession of that time vis-a-vis an affective touch, but the evidence of his findings for the approach to the sick person and the care eventually overcome the resistance and even led him to raise the awareness of the training nurses in the Netherlands in 1967 at the request of the Ministry of Health. This lead to a book "Lichte lasten" ("Light charges") and a film on the clinical kinesionomy, a term, which he invented at the time.
Indeed, in the epilogue of "Amour et raison" we can see the intellectual approach of Frans VELDMAN in his constant concern for the truthfulness and authenticity of the latter. He was a philologist and possessed a very good classical culture, as was required by the schooling of his generation when the "Humanities" were at stake. This has strongly marked the vocabulary of the language of this phenomenological science. Indeed, he goes back to the etymological source of the words and canassign them to haptonomy in an innovative and unsettling way for the common academic use.
Haptonomy does not belong to the so called "hard" sciences, but it is "empirical, phenomenological and "experiential" and not experimental.
In fact, the personal human empirical experience aims for understanding, while the experimental scientific experience rather aims for explanation. Nonetheless, although within the field of the emotions and the affective, that isthe field of the subtle, it is definitely for those who come across it in the "repeatable and verifiable" experience as any other scientifically proven phenomenon. How to explain the paradox of this situation? It is contained in two words: axiology and cross-disciplinarity.