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Michael Pitman [3]Michael M. Pitman [2]
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Profile: Michael Pitman (University of the Witwatersrand)
  1. Michael Pitman (2014). Mental Disorders, Brain Disorders, Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Challenges for the Philosophy of Psychopathology After DSM-5. South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (2):131-144.
    The publication of DSM-5 has been accompanied by a fair amount of controversy. Amongst DSM’s most vocal ‘insider’ critics has been Thomas Insel, Director of the US National Institute of Mental Health. Insel has publicly criticised DSM’s adherence to a symptom-based classification of mental disorder, and used the weight of the NIMH to back a rival research strategy aimed at a more biology-based diagnostic classification. This strategy is part of Insel’s vision of a future, more preventative psychiatry in which mental (...)
     
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  2. Michael M. Pitman (2012). Freedom, Indeterminism and Imagination. South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (2):369-383.
    A suspicion about libertarian free will is that freedom is undermined, rather than supported, by the positing of indeterminism within processes of volition. In response, this paper presents a way in which moments of indeterminism can enhance freedom, by showing how such moments can genuinely belong to the agent. The key idea is that of putting the imagination to work in the service of free agency. The suggestion is that indeterministic processes of imaginative generativity can both belong to an agent, (...)
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  3. Michael Pitman (2003). Consciousness Studies: Research Prospects in the ‘Cradle of Human Consciousness’. Alternation 10 (1):271-291.
    The paper introduces the field of consciousness studies to an audience outside of philosophy and the cognitive sciences, using the work of the late David Brooks as a starting point. Brooks' account of consciousness, and the cognitive and evolutionary significance of for-the-organism properties, are discussed. Brooks' account is evaluated in the light of the debate over conscious inessentialism; and alternative lines for developing Brooks' account are proposed, drawing on the work of Gerald Edelman.
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  4. Michael M. Pitman (2003). Eliminative Materialism and the Integrity of Science. South African Journal of Philosophy 22 (3):207-219.
    Eliminative Materialism holds that propositional attitude folk psychology is a radically false theory of human, cognition, communication and behaviour. The paper reviews the argument that Eliminative Materialism is self-defeating. Although the argument is unsuccessful, it is argued that Eliminative Materialism ought to be considered epistemically self-undermining. Eliminative Materialism's truth would undermine the epistemic warrant of the theories (from cognitive neuroscience) typically taken as motivating the eliminativist thesis. Eliminative materialism fails to recognise that, in the psychological sciences, the mind is both (...)
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  5. Michael Pitman (2002). Psychotherapy is Delicate Psychosurgery. South African Journal of Psychology 32 (4):1-8.
    The paper involves an attempt to draw out the implications of a ‘moderate materialism’ for the understanding of mental illness. The argument of the paper is that once a moderate materialism which navigates carefully between the poles of (materialist) reductionism and dualism has been unpacked, the relations between the manifestations, bases, aetiologies and treatments of mental illnesses emerge as being considerably more complex than is often allowed for. Specifically, the conceptual tools required within a moderate materialist position about the mind (...)
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