Brain disorders reconsidered – a response to commentaries

Philosophical Psychology 37 (3):644-657 (2024)
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In this paper, I respond to commentaries on my book “Are Mental Disorders Brain Disorders?”. The topics I discuss are: accounts of function and dysfunction, constraints on the relationship between processes at the level of the brain and the mind, externalism in psychiatry, implications for moral responsibility and the question whether my account is a form of conceptual engineering. I defend my account and argue that the key criterion for whether mental disorders are brain disorders is whether we can map dysfunctional psychological processes onto specific differences in brain function. I also acknowledge that my commentators have identified points where my account needs further development.



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Anneli Jefferson
Cardiff University

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Functional analysis.Robert E. Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.
Health as a theoretical concept.Christopher Boorse - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (4):542-573.
What is Conceptual Engineering and What Should it Be?David Chalmers - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63.
In defense of proper functions.Ruth Millikan - 1989 - Philosophy of Science 56 (June):288-302.

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