David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 18 (4) (1997)
The potential of psychiatry as an integrative science has been impeded by an internal schism that derives from the duality of mental and physical. Organic unity theory is proposed as a conceptual framework that brings together the terms of the mind-body duality in one coherent perspective. Organic unity theory is braided of three strands: identity, which describes the relationship between mentally described events and corresponding physically described events; continuity, which describes the linguistic-conceptual system that contains both mental and physical terms; and dialectic, which describes the relationship between the empirical way of knowing that is associated with the physical domain of the linguistic-conceptual system and the hermeneutic way of knowing that is associated with the mental domain. Each strand represents an integrative formulation that resolves an aspect of mental-physical dualism into an underlying unity. After the theory is presented, its implications for psychiatry are briefly considered.
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