The Mind and its Discontents: An Essay in Discursive Psychiatry

Oxford University Press (2009)
Abstract
The first edition of The Mind and its Discontents was a powerful analysis of how, as a society, we view mental illness. In the ten years since the first edition, there has been growing interest in the philosophy of psychiatry, and a new edition of this text is more timely and important than ever. In The Mind and its Discontents, Grant Gillett argues that an understanding of mental illness requires more than just a study of biological models of mental processes and pathologies. As intensely social animals, he argues, we need to look for the causes of human mental disorders in our interactions with others; in social rule-following and its role in the organization of mental content; in the power relations embedded within social structures and cultural norms; in the way that our mental life is inscribed by a cumulative life of encounters with others. Drawing upon work from within the philosophy of mind, epistemology, post-modern continental philosophy, and philosophy of language, he tries to elucidate the nature of psychiatric phenomena involving disorders of thought, perception, emotion, moral sense, and action. Within this framework, a series of chapters analyse important psychiatric disorders such as depression, attention deficiency, autism, schizophrenia, and anorexia. Along the way, Gillett explores the nature of memory and identity; of hysteria and what constitutes rational behaviour; and of what causes us to label someone a psychopath or deviant. Updated, available in paperback, and more accessible than before, the new edition of this fascinating book will provide readers with important insights into the causes and nature of psychosis. In addition, Gillett's arguments have considerable implications for the way in which we understand and treat people suffering from psychiatric disorders. The Mind and its Discontents will be read by researchers and postgraduate students in a range of academic areas, including psychiatry, bioethics, philosophy of mind, social theory, and clinical psychology. It will also be of considerable interest to practising psychiatrists.
Keywords Psychiatry Philosophy  Mental illness  Philosophy of mind
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Call number RC437.5.G55 2009
ISBN(s) 0198523130   9780199237548  
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