David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Anthropology of Consciousness 20 (2):85-100 (2009)
Most research on aboriginal mind and mental health has sought to apply or confirm preexisting European-derived theories among aboriginal people. Culture has been underappreciate. An understanding of uniquely aboriginal models for mind and mental health might lead to more effective and robust interventions. To address this issue, a core group of elders from five separate regions of North America was developed to help determine how aboriginal people conceived of mind, self, and identity before European contact. The process utilized for this study is iterative and involves discussions of teachings, traditional stories, and elder's comments on conclusions drawn. The elders endorsed a relational theory of mind in which mind exists between people as a product of the stories told and created within and by that relationship. Mind is distinguished from consciousness which is without language and exists within the individual as awareness. Language immediately results in an "out there" orientation in which two or more individuals generate stories about their experiences. The community is the basic unit of study for mind and mental health, and mental "illness" is not distinguished from physical "illness," but rather all are seen as a continuum of suffering and pain. What emerged from this research is that North American theories of mind are more closely related to Daoist and Shinto theories than to the logical positivism which drives most of North America's conventional psychology and psychiatry. Within European traditions, however, the philosophy of Mikhail Bakhtin with his emphasis on a dialogical self coupled with system theory comes closest to resembling North American aboriginal theories. This model explains why ceremony and ritual, community interventions, talking circles (including AA and the Wellbriety Movement), and family therapy are more compatible with aboriginal thought than conventional North American biomedicine and psychology.
|Keywords||mental health Bakhtin consciousness aboriginal mind|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
D. B. Double (ed.) (2006). Critical Psychiatry: The Limits of Madness. Palgrave Macmillan.
Mary Nettle (2010). Is Writing Good for Your Mental Health or Is There More to Life? Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 17 (3):269-270.
Philip J. Barker (2005). The Tidal Model: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals. Brunner-Routledge.
George Graham (2010). The Disordered Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Mental Illness. Routledge.
Virginia L. Wiseman (1999). Culture, Self-Rated Health and Resource Allocation Decision-Making. Health Care Analysis 7 (3):207-223.
Derek Bolton (1996). Mind, Meaning, and Mental Disorder: The Nature of Causal Explanation in Psychology and Psychiatry. Oxford University Press.
Patrick Bracken (2005). Postpsychiatry. Oxford University Press.
Renate Eigenbrod (2006). Who Wants These Stories? Reflections on Ethical Implications of the Re-Publication of a Missionary Work. Journal of Academic Ethics 4 (1-4):221-243.
Jon C. Altman & Melinda Hickson (eds.) (2010). Culture Crisis: Anthropology and Politics in Aboriginal Australia. University of New South Wales Press.
Added to index2009-09-10
Total downloads42 ( #38,985 of 1,098,129 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #172,576 of 1,098,129 )
How can I increase my downloads?