Abstract Recently, some philosophers of psychiatry (viz., Rachel Cooper and Dominic Murphy) have analyzed the issue of psychiatric classification. This paper expands upon these analyses and seeks to demonstrate that a consideration of the history of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) can provide a rich and informative philosophical perspective for critically examining the issue of psychiatric classification. This case is intended to demonstrate the importance of history for philosophy of psychiatry, and more generally, (...) the potential benefits of historically-informed approaches to philosophy of science. (shrink)
Essential Philosophy of Psychiatry is a concise introduction to the growing field of philosophy of psychiatry. Divided into three main aspects of psychiatric clinical judgement, values, meanings and facts, it examines the key debates about mental health care, and the philosophical ideas and tools needed to assess those debates, in six chapters. In addition to outlining the state of play, Essential Philosophy of Psychiatry presents a coherent and unified approach across the different debates, characterized (...) by a rejection of reductionism and an emphasis on the ineliminability of uncodified skilled judgement. The first part, Values, outlines the debate about whether diagnosis of mental illness is essentially value-laden and argues that the prospects for reducing illness or disease to plainly factual matters are poor. It also explains the important role of skilled contextual judgement, rather than a principles-based deduction, in ethical judgement. The second part, Meanings, examines the central role of understanding and a shared first person perspective, both against attempts to reduce meaning to basic information-processing mechanisms and to explain away the difficulties of understanding psychopathology in recent models of delusion. The third part, Facts, shows the importance of uncodified clinical judgements, both in assessing the validity of psychiatric taxonomy and in the application of Evidence Based Medicine. Despite advances in the codifaction of practice and operationalism of diagnosis, an element of judgement remains in the assessment both of what, at one level, is good evidence for diagnosis and treatment and what, at a higher level, is good evidence for the validity of classification overall. (shrink)
Maladapting Minds discusses a number of reasons why philosophers of psychiatry should take an interest in evolutionary explanations of mental disorders and, more generally, in evolutionary thinking. First of all, there is the nascent field of evolutionary psychiatry. Unlike other psychiatrists, evolutionary psychiatrists engage with ultimate, rather than proximate, questions about mental illnesses. Being a young and youthful new discipline, evolutionary psychiatry allows for a nice case study in the philosophy of science. Secondly, philosophers of (...) class='Hi'>psychiatry have engaged with evolutionary theory because evolutionary considerations are often said to play a role in defining the concept of mental disorder. The basic question here is: Can the concept of mental disorder be given an objective definition, or is it rather a normative concept? Thirdly and finally, evolutionary thinking in psychiatry has often been a source of inspiration for a philosophical view on human nature. Thus evolutionary psychiatrists have suggested, for example, that man's vulnerability to mental disorders may well be one of the defining features of our species. -/- Written by leading authors in philosophy, psychiatry, biology and psychology, this volume illustrates that many debates in contemporary philosophy of psychiatry are profoundly influenced by evolutionary approaches to mental disorders. Conversely, it also reveals how philosophers can help contribute to the burgeoning field of evolutionary psychiatry. It is important reading for a wide range of readers interested in mental health care and philosophy. (shrink)
Nature and Narrative is the launch volume in a new series of books entitled International Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry. Nature(representing interest in the causes of a problem) and Narrative (for understanding its meanings) will introduce the field and the series, by touching on a range of issue relevant to this interdisciplinary 'border country'.
Mental health research and care in the twenty first century faces a series of conceptual and ethical challenges arising from unprecedented advances in the neurosciences, combined with radical cultural and organisational change. The Oxford Textbook of Philosophy of Psychiatry is aimed at all those responding to these challenges, from professionals in health and social care, managers, lawyers and policy makers; service users, informal carers and others in the voluntary sector; through to philosophers, neuroscientists and clinical researchers. Organised around (...) a series of case studies in five key topic areas - concepts of disorder, the philosophical history of psychopathology, philosophy of science, ethics and philosophical value theory, and philosophy of mind - the book provides a detailed introduction to the field and a framework for study and skill development. Each case study is supported by selected readings from both philosophy and mental health, thinking skills exercises, self-test questions, key learning points and detailed guides to further reading. There is an introduction for philosophers to classification and descriptive psychopathology, and for practitioners to philosophical methods (including logic). The philosophical topics covered include philosophical methods (analytic and Continental); phenomenology, hermeneutics and existentialism, logical empiricism and its successors; idealism and realism; reasons and causes; and modern theories of mind and brain, free will and personal identity. Topics from mental health include psychiatry and 'anti-psychiatry'; Jaspers' psychopathology and the new neurosciences; the future of psychiatric classifications; strengths-based approaches, recovery practice, social inclusion and diversity; and key topics in psychopathology, such as delusion, autism, disorders of volition, thought insertion and other experiences in schizophrenia. The Oxford Textbook of Philosophy of Psychiatry aims to secure the skills-base of the discipline by bringing philosophers closer to the realities of practice in mental health, and mental health practitioners closer to the resources of philosophy as a partner to the sciences in responding to the challenges of twenty-first century mental health and social care. (shrink)
The links between Descartes logito and the schizophrenic symptom of "inserted thoughts" are used to illustrate the potential for two- way exchange between philosophy and psychiatry. Patients suffering thought insertion have thoughts in their heads, which "they" are thinking, but which they experience as the thoughts "of someone else": "I think therefore someone else is". Philosophical work on personal identity helps to clarify the remarkable phenomenological features of thought insertion: conversely, thought insertion challenges philosophical theories of personal identity. (...) More generally, future cross- disciplinary work will require a strong academic infrastructure, including training and research. (shrink)
In this book Hundert proposes a new, unified view of the mind, one that integrates the insights of philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists. Through a detailed discussion of major theories from these and related disciplines, he gradually reveals links between what were previously unconnected approaches to human thought and experience.
The past two decades have seen a surge in cross-disciplinary work in philosophy and psychiatry. Much of this work is necessarily abstract whilst those working in the area are aware of the necessity of relating the theoretical and conceptual work to the vagaries of day-to-day practice. But given the diverse methods and aims of philosophy and psychiatry, crossing the ‘communication gap’ between the two disciplines is easier said than done. In this article different methods of bridging (...) this gap are presented and commented upon. A number of research studies are reviewed with an eye to the potential they display to develop interdisciplinary theory. An empirical approach to philosophy of practice with special attention to ordinary language use is proposed as a fruitful may forward. (shrink)
This is a comprehensive resource of original essays by leading thinkers exploring the newly emerging inter-disciplinary field of the philosophy of psychiatry. The contributors aim to define this exciting field and to highlight the philosophical assumptions and issues that underlie psychiatric theory and practice, the category of mental disorder, and rationales for its social, clinical and legal treatment. As a branch of medicine and a healing practice, psychiatry relies on presuppositions that are deeply and unavoidably philosophical. Conceptions (...) of rationality, personhood and autonomy frame our understanding and treatment of mental disorder. Philosophical questions of evidence, reality, truth, science, and values give meaning to each of the social institutions and practices concerned with mental health care. The psyche, the mind and its relation to the body, subjectivity and consciousness, personal identity and character, thought, will, memory, and emotions are equally the stuff of traditional philosophical inquiry and of the psychiatric enterprise. A new research field--the philosophy of psychiatry--began to form during the last two decades of the twentieth century. Prompted by a growing recognition that philosophical ideas underlie many aspects of clinical practice, psychiatric theorizing and research, mental health policy, and the economics and politics of mental health care, academic philosophers, practitioners, and philosophically trained psychiatrists have begun a series of vital, cross-disciplinary exchanges. This volume provides a sampling of the research yield of those exchanges. Leading thinkers in this area, including clinicians, philosophers, psychologists, and interdisciplinary teams, provide original discussions that are not only expository and critical, but also a reflection of their authors' distinctive and often powerful and imaginative viewpoints and theories. All the discussions break new theoretical ground. As befits such an interdisciplinary effort, they are methodologically eclectic, and varied and divergent in their assumptions and conclusions; together, they comprise a significant new exploration, definition, and mapping of the philosophical aspects of psychiatric theory and practice. (shrink)
_The first part called the Preamble tackles: (a) the issues of silence and speech, and life and disease; (b) whether we need to know some or all of the truth, and how are exact science and philosophical reason related; (c) the phenomenon of Why, How, and What; (d) how are mind and brain related; (e) what is robust eclecticism, empirical/scientific enquiry, replicability/refutability, and the role of diagnosis and medical model in psychiatry; (f) bioethics and the four principles of beneficence, (...) non-malfeasance, autonomy, and justice; (g) the four concepts of disease, illness, sickness, and disorder; how confusion is confounded by these concepts but clarity is imperative if we want to make sense out of them; and how psychiatry is an interim medical discipline. The second part called The Issues deals with: (a) the concepts of nature and nurture; the biological and the psychosocial; and psychiatric disease and brain pathophysiology; (b) biology, Freud and the reinvention of psychiatry; (c) critics of psychiatry, mind-body problem and paradigm shifts in psychiatry; (d) the biological, the psychoanalytic, the psychosocial and the cognitive; (e) the issues of clarity, reductionism, and integration; (f) what are the fool-proof criteria, which are false leads, and what is the need for questioning assumptions in psychiatry. The third part is called Psychiatric Disorder, Psychiatric Ethics, and Psychiatry Connected Disciplines. It includes topics like (a) psychiatric disorder, mental health, and mental phenomena; (b) issues in psychiatric ethics; (c) social psychiatry, liaison psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, forensic psychiatry, and neuropsychiatry. The fourth part is called Antipsychiatry, Blunting Creativity, etc. It includes topics like (a) antipsychiatry revisited; (b) basic arguments of antipsychiatry, Szasz, etc.; (c) psychiatric classification and value judgment; (d) conformity, labeling, and blunting creativity. The fifth part is called The Role of Philosophy, Religion, and Spirituality in Psychiatry. It includes topics like (a) relevance of philosophy to psychiatry; (b) psychiatry, religion, spirituality, and culture; (c) ancient Indian concepts and contemporary psychiatry; (d) Indian holism and Western reductionism; (e) science, humanism, and the nomothetic-idiographic orientation. The last part, called Final Goal, talks of the need for a grand unified theory. The whole discussion is put in the form of refutable points._. (shrink)
Neuroscience has long had an impact on the field of psychiatry, and over the last two decades, with the advent of cognitive neuroscience and functional neuroimaging, that influence has been most pronounced. However, many question whether psychopathology can be understood by relying on neuroscience alone, and highlight some of the perceived limits to the way in which neuroscience informs psychiatry. Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience is a philosophical analysis of the role of neuroscience in the study of psychopathology. (...) The book examines numerous cognitive neuroscientific methods, such as neuroimaging and the use of neuropsychological models, in the context of a variety of psychiatric disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, dependence syndrome, and personality disorders. Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience includes chapters on the nature of psychiatry as a science; the compatibility of the accounts of mental illness derived from neuroscience, information-processing, and folk psychology; the nature of mental illness; the impact of methods such as fMRI, neuropsychology, and neurochemistry, on psychiatry; the relationship between phenomenological accounts of mental illness and those provided by naturalistic explanations; the status of delusions and the continuity between delusions and ordinary beliefs; the interplay between clinical and empirical findings in psychopathology and issues in moral psychology and ethics. With contributions from world class experts in philosophy and cognitive science, this book will be essential reading for those who have an interest in the importance and the limitations of cognitive neuroscience as an aid to understanding mental illness. (shrink)
There has been a recent growth in philosophy of psychiatry that draws heavily (although not exclusively) on analytic philosophy with the aim of a better understanding of psychiatry through an analysis of some of its fundamental concepts. This 'new philosophy of psychiatry' is an addition to both analytic philosophy and to the broader interpretation of mental health care. Nevertheless, it is already a flourishing philosophical field. One indication of this is the new Oxford (...) University Press series International Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry seven volumes of which (by Bolton and Hill; Bracken and Thomas; Fulford, Morris, Sadler, and Stanghellini; Hughes, Louw, and Sabat; Pickering; Sadler; and Stanghellini) are examined in this critical review. (shrink)
In their recent paper, Natalie Banner and Tim Thornton evaluate seven volumes of the Oxford University Press series “International Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry,” an international book series begun in 2003 focusing on the emerging interdisciplinary field at the interface of philosophy and psychiatry. According to Natalie Banner and Tim Thornton, the series represents a clear indication that the interdisciplinary field of philosophy of psychiatry has been flourishing lately. Philosophers and psychiatrists face a “new (...)philosophy of psychiatry”. However, the optimism which the “new” philosophy of psychiatry celebrates is precisely the exiling of philosophy from the foundations of psychiatry. The 150 year old belief that psychopathology cannot do without philosophical reflection has virtually disappeared from common psychiatric education and daily clinical practice. Though the discipline of psychiatry is particularly suited to contributions from philosophy, the impact of philosophy on psychiatry nowadays remains limited. With some exceptions, philosophical papers are embedded in a philosophical context inscrutable to ordinary psychiatrists. Much current philosophical work is perceived by psychiatrists as negativistic. I would encourage the field of psychiatry to incorporate once again basic philosophical attitudes which render possible true dialogue with philosophy and enrich both disciplines. The views developed here should not discredit the value and importance of Natalie Banner and Tim Thornton’s paper and the excellent series “International Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry.” As Jaspers said “Everybody inclined to disregard philosophy will be overwhelmed by philosophy in an unperceived way”. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
Whether your scepticism is as absolute and sincere as you claim is something we shall learn later on, when we end this little meeting: we’ll then see whether you leave the room through the door or the window; and whether you really doubt that your body has gravity and can be injured by its fall—which is what people in general think on the basis of their fallacious senses and more fallacious experience. What Could Be more dissimilar than a well-argued philosophical (...) thesis and a psychiatric delusion? Compare, for instance, Hume’s (1739) view that the self is nothing more than a “bundle” of perceptions with the psychiatric patient’s view that the thoughts in his head belong to someone else. Or, compare the .. (shrink)
Psychopaths have emotional and rational impairments that can be expressed in persistent criminal behaviour. UK and US law has not traditionally excused disordered individuals for their crimes citing these impairments as a cause for their criminal behaviour. Until now, the discussion of whether psychopaths are morally responsible for their behaviour has usually taken place in the realm of philosophy. However, in recent years, this debate has been informed by scientific and psychiatric advancements, fundamentally so with the development of Robert (...) Hare's diagnostic tool, the Psychopathy Checklist. Responsibility and Psychopathy explores the moral responsibility of psychopaths. It engages with problems at the interface between law, psychiatry, and philosophy, and is divided into three parts offering relevant interdisciplinary background information to address this main problem. The first part discusses the public policy and legal responses to psychopathy. It offers an introduction to the central practical issue of how public policy should respond to psychopathy, providing insights for those arguing about the responsibility of psychopaths. The second part introduces recent scientific advancements in the classification, description, explanation, and treatment of psychopathy. The third part of the volume includes chapters covering the most significant dimensions of philosophical debate on the moral and criminal responsibility of psychopaths. Exploring one of the most contentious topics of our time, this book will be fascinating reading for psychiatrists, philosophers, criminologists, and lawyers. Readership: Psychiatrists, philosophers, psychologists, criminologists . (shrink)
Although psychiatry is interested in what both body and mind contribute to behavior, it sometimes emphasizes one more than the other. Since the early 1980s, American psychiatry has shifted its interest from mind and psyche to body and brain. Neuroscience and psychopharmacology are increasingly at the core of psychiatry. Some experts claim that psychiatry is no longer interested in problems in living and positive goals such as mental health, happiness, and morality but rather has narrowed its (...) focus to mental disorders addressed with psychotropic drugs. In view of this trend, psychiatry needs to confront two questions in social philosophy. If it is no longer directly concerned with health and happiness, how does it relate to these positive goals? And how does it relate as a medical institution to religious institutions, schools, and other organizations that directly promote health, happiness, morality, and the purposes of life? It is not enough for psychiatry to renounce its moral role; its practices still shape cultural values. Psychiatry should take more responsibility for developing a public philosophy that addresses these issues. (shrink)
When people confabulate, they make a false claim that they honestly believe is true. The book contains countless fascinating examples of confabulatory behaviour - people falsely recalling events from their childhood, the subject who was partially blind but insisted he could see, the amputee convinced that he retained all his limbs, to the patient who believed that his own parents had been replaced by imposters. Though confabulations can result from neurological damage, they can also appear in perfectly healthy people. Yet, (...) how can confabulators so often appear to be of sound mind, yet not see their own errors? -/- This book brings together some of the most advanced thinking on confabulation in neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology, and philosophy, in an attempt to understand this phenomenon; what are the clinical symptoms of each type of confabulation? Which brain functions are damaged in clinical confabulators? What are the neuropsychological characteristics of each type? What causes confabulation in healthy individuals? One reason why the study of confabulation is important is that there is wide agreement that the malfunctions that produce confabulation are malfunctions in significant, high-level cognitive processes. -/- With contributions from a range of leading psychologists, psychiatrists, neuroscientists, and philosophers, the book develops an interdisciplinary dialogue that promises to increase our understanding of confabulatory neurological patients, and perhaps help us better understand memory, consciousness, and human nature itself. (shrink)
We argue that contemporary psychiatry adopts a defensive strategy vis-à-vis various external sources of pressure. We will identify two of these sources – the plea for individual autonomy and the idea of Managed Care – and explain how they have promoted a strict biomedical conception of disease. The demand for objectivity, however, does not take into account the complexity of mental illness. It ignores that the psychiatrist’s profession is essentially characterized by fragility: fluctuating between scientific reduction and the irreducible (...) complexity of reality. Therefore, the psychiatrist is not in need of hard and fast rules, but of judgment. At the end, we suggest that philosophy could inject some healthy uncertainty within psychiatry in order to restore its fragile identity. Our examples are drawn from the Dutch situation but we are confident that they apply to other countries as well. (shrink)
In this article I will argue that we are witnessing at this moment the third wave of biological psychiatry. This framework conceptualizes mental disorders as brain disorders of a special kind that requires a multilevel approach ranging from genes to psychosocial mechanisms. In contrast to earlier biological psychiatry approaches the mental plays a more prominent role in the third wave. This will become apparent by discussing the recent controversy evolving around the recently published DSM-5 and the competing transdiagnostic (...) Research Domain Criteria approach of the National Institute of Mental Health that is build on concepts of cognitive neuroscience. A look at current conceptualizations in biological psychiatry as well as at some discussions in current philosophy of mind on situated cognition, reveals that the thesis, that mental brain disorders are brain disorders has to be qualified with respect to how mental states are constituted and with respect to multilevel explanations of which factors contribute to stable patterns of psychopathological signs and symptoms. (shrink)
This dissertation examines psychiatry from a philosophy of science perspective, focusing on issues of realism and classification. Questions addressed in the dissertation include: What evidence is there for the reality of mental disorders? Are any mental disorders natural kinds? When are disease explanations of abnormality warranted? How should mental disorders be classified? -/- In addressing issues concerning the reality of mental disorders, I draw on the accounts of realism defended by Ian Hacking and William Wimsatt, arguing that biological (...) research on mental disorders supports the inference that some mental disorders (e.g., schizophrenia, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders) are real theoretical entities, and that the evidence supporting this inference is causal and abductive. In explicating the nature of such entities, I argue that real mental disorders are natural kinds insofar as they are natural classes of abnormal behavior whose members share the same causal structure. I present this position in terms of Richard Boyd’s homeostatic cluster property theory of natural kinds, and argue that this perspective reveals limitations of Hacking’s account on the looping effects of human kinds, which suggests that the objects classified by psychiatrists are unstable entities. I subsequently argue that a subset of mental disorders (e.g., schizophrenia and Down syndrome) are mental illnesses insofar as they are disorders caused by a dysfunctional biological process that leads to harmful consequences for individuals. I present this analysis against Thomas Szasz’s argument that mental illness is a myth. -/- In addressing issues of psychiatric classification, my analysis focuses on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which has been published regularly by the American Psychiatric Association since 1952, and is currently in its fourth edition. After examining the history of DSM in the twentieth century, and in particular, DSM’s shift to an atheoretical and purely descriptive system in the 1980s, I consider the relative merits of descriptive versus causal systems of classification. Drawing on Carl Hempel’s analysis of taxonomic systems in psychiatry, I argue that a causal classification system would provide a superior approach to psychiatric classification than the descriptive system currently favored by DSM. (shrink)
Neuroscience and psychiatry -- Psychotherapy and psychiatry -- Diagnosis in psychiatry -- The boundaries of mental disorders -- Mood and mental illness -- Psychiatry's problem children -- Evidence-based psychiatry -- Psychiatric drugs: miracles and limitations -- Talk therapies: the need for a unified method -- Psychiatry in practice -- Training psychiatrists -- Psychiatry and society -- The future of psychiatry.
This multidisciplinary collection explores three key concepts underpinning psychiatry -- explanation, phenomenology, and nosology -- and their continuing relevance in an age of neuroimaging and genetic analysis. An introduction by Kenneth S. Kendler lays out the philosophical grounding of psychiatric practice. The first section addresses the concept of explanation, from the difficulties in describing complex behavior to the categorization of psychological and biological causality. In the second section, contributors discuss experience, including the complex and vexing issue of how self-agency (...) and free will affect mental health. The third and final section examines the organizational difficulties in psychiatric nosology and the instability of the existing diagnostic system. Each chapter has both an introduction by the editors and a concluding comment by another of the book's contributors. Contributors: John Campbell, Ph.D.; Thomas Fuchs, M.D., Ph.D.; Shaun Gallagher, Ph.D.; Kenneth S. Kendler, M.D.; Sandra D. Mitchell, Ph.D.; Dominic P. Murphy, Ph.D.; Josef Parnas, M.D., Dr.Med.Sci.; Louis A. Sass, Ph.D.; Kenneth F. Schaffner, M.D., Ph.D.; James F. Woodward, Ph.D.; Peter Zachar, Ph.D. (shrink)
A link between mental disorder and freedom is clearly present in the introduction of the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). It mentions “an important loss of freedom” as one of the possible defining features of mental disorder. Meanwhile, it remains unclear how “an important loss of freedom” should be understood. In order to get a clearer view on the relationship between mental disorder and (a loss of) freedom, in this article, I will explore (...) the link between mental disorder and free will. I examine two domains in which a connection between mental disorder and free will is present: the philosophy of free will and forensic psychiatry. As it turns out, philosophers of free will frequently refer to mental disorders as conditions that compromise free will and reduce moral responsibility. In addition, in forensic psychiatry, the rationale for the assessment of criminal responsibility is often explained by referring to the fact that mental disorders can compromise free will. Yet, in both domains, it remains unclear in what way free will is compromised by mental disorders. Based on the philosophical debate, I discuss three senses of free will and explore their relevance to mental disorders. I conclude that in order to further clarify the relationship between free will and mental disorder, the accounts of people who have actually experienced the impact of a mental disorder should be included in future research. (shrink)
The status quo: dogmatism, the biopsychosocial model, and alternatives -- What there is: of mind and brain -- How we know: understanding the mind -- What is scientific method? -- Reading Karl Jaspers's General Psychopathology -- What is scientific method in psychiatry? -- Darwin's dangerous method: the essentialist fallacy -- What we value: the ethics of psychiatry -- Desire and self: Hellenistic and Islamic approaches -- On the nature of mental illness: disease or myth? -- Order out of (...) chaos: from insanity to DSM-III to a pluralistic nosology -- A theory of DSM-IV: ideal types -- Dimensions versus categories -- The perils of belief: psychosis -- The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune: depression -- Life's rollercoaster: mania -- Being self-aware: insight -- Calvinism or hedonism? -- Truth and statistics: problems of empirical psychiatry -- A climate of opinion: what remains of psychoanalysis -- Being there: existential psychotherapy -- Beyond eclecticism: teaching psychotherapy in the twenty-first century -- Bridging the biology/psychology dichotomy: the hopes of integrationism -- Why it is hard to be pluralist. (shrink)
Psychiatry is plagued with philosophical questions. What is a mental illness? Is it different from brain disease? Is there any objective way of determining whether behaviors such as criminal activity are mental illnesses? Should we explain "abnormal" behavior by reference to psychological forces, learning processes, social factors, or disease processes? This book aspires to answer these and other questions. Broadly divided into two halves, the first analyzes the arguments of psychiatry's critics and covers the philosophical ideas of such (...) thinkers as Freud, Eysenck, Laing, Szasz, Sedgewick, and Foucault. The second aims to provide a resolution to the problems raised in the first half by establishing a philosophical defense of the theory and practice of psychiatry. Dr. Reznek's stimulating work is the first to provide a comprehensive philosophical account of the main issues in psychiatry, including free will and responsibility, the excusing power of mental illness, and involuntary hospitalization. (shrink)
This chapter offers an interpretation of Jaspers’ distinction between explaining and understanding, which relates this distinction to that between general and singular causal claims. Put briefly, I suggest that when Jaspers talks about (mere) explanation, what he has in mind are general causal claims linking types of events. Understanding, by contrast, is concerned with singular causation in the psychological domain. Furthermore, I also suggest that Jaspers thinks that only understanding makes manifest what causation between one element of a person’s mental (...) life and another ultimately consists in – that is, the particular way in which one psychic event can emerge from or arise out of another. I contrast the resulting view both with a view on causation in psychiatry recently put forward by John Campbell, and also with another view that is the target of Campbell’s attack, which is due to Donald Davidson and Daniel Dennett. (shrink)
The aim of Language for those who have Nothing is to think psychiatry through the writings of Mikhail Bakhtin. Using the concepts of Dialogism and Polyphony, the Carnival and the Chronotope, a novel means of navigating the clinical landscape is developed. Bakhtin offers language as a social phenomenon and one that is fully embodied. Utterances are shown to be alive and enfleshed and their meanings realised in the context of given social dimensions. The organisation of this book corresponds with (...) carnival practices of taking the high down to the low before replenishing its meaning anew. Thus early discussions of official language and the chronotope become exposed to descending levels of analysis and emphasis. Patients and practitioners are shown to occupy an entirely different spatio-temporal topography. These chronotopes have powerful borders and it is necessary to use the Carnival powers of cunning and deception in order to enter and to leave them. The book provides an overview of practitioners who have attempted such transgression and the author records his own unnerving experience as a pseudopatient. By exploring the context of psychiatry's unofficial voices: its terminology, jokes, parodies, and everyday narratives, the clinical landscape is shown to rely heavily on unofficial dialogues in order to safeguard an official identity. (shrink)
Substantially revised to include a wealth of new material, the second edition of this highly acclaimed work provides a concise, coherent introduction that brings structure to an increasingly fragmented and amorphous discipline. Paul R. McHugh and Phillip R. Slavney offer an approach that emphasizes psychiatry's unifying concepts while accommodating its diversity. Recognizing that there may never be a single, all-encompassing theory, the book distills psychiatric practice into four explanatory methods: diseases, dimensions of personality, goal-directed behaviors, and life stories. These (...) perspectives, argue the authors, underlie the principles and practice of all psychiatry. With an understanding of these fundamental methods, readers will be equipped to organize and evaluate psychiatric information and to develop a confident approach to practice and research. Praise for the original edition: "This brilliant book illuminates psychiatry more clearly than any other work I know.... This is the best (and the shortest) single volume on psychiatry that anyone could read."-- New England Journal of Medicine "Every psychiatry department, regardless of ideology, should build a course around this... work. Open-mindedness might become fashionable."-- Journal of Clinical Psychiatry "An elegantly reasoned and eloquently written book that enriches our understanding of clinical events.... [It provides] an opportunity to open our eyes to new possibilities."-- Hospital and Community Psychiatry. (shrink)
Notes on Rudolf Allers and his thought -- Introduction -- Cause in psychology -- Irresistible impulses -- Vis cogitativa and evaluation -- The cognitive aspect of emotion -- The limitations of medical psychology -- Intuition and abstraction -- Philosophia-philanthropia -- Ethics and anthropology -- The dialectics of freedom -- Psychiatry and the role of personal belief -- Reflections on co-operation and communication -- Ontoanalysis : a new trend in psychiatry -- Work and play -- The Freud legend.
Psychiatry is increasingly dominated by the reductionist claim that mental illness is caused by neurobiological abnormalities such as chemical imbalances in the brain. Critical psychiatry does not believe that this is the whole story and proposes a more ethical foundation for practice. This book describes an original framework for renewing mental health services in alliance with people with mental health problems. It is an advance over the polarization created by the "anti-psychiatry" of the past.
Advance Praise: "A distillation of the wisdom accumulated over a lifetime by one of our leading thinkers in psychiatry. . . .It should interest. . .anyone who has thought seriously about the brain, the mind and the meaning of illness." --Albert J. Stunkard, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania.