Philosophical Papers 36 (3):371-397 (2007)

Anthony Wrigley
Keele University
In this paper I provide an account of the metaphysical foundations of mental illness in terms of a realism debate. I motivate the importance of such metaphysical analysis as a means of avoiding some intractable problems that beset discussion of the concept of mental illness. I apply aspects of the framework developed by Crispin Wright for realism debates in order to examine the ontological commitments to mental illness as a property that humans may exhibit and to examine the various arguments that realists and anti-realists can use to defend their position on mental illness. I pay particular attention to characterising Szasz's account of mental illness as that of an anti-realist error-theory and present ways in which a realist may counter such a position. Ultimately I argue that in order to hold a realist position on mental illness one would have to adopt some form of realism towards values, such as moral realism
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/05568641.2007.11733499
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,268
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Mental Illness, Metaphysics, Facts and Values.Chris Megone - 2007 - Philosophical Papers 36 (3):399-426.
Moral Realism and Metaphysical Anti-Realism.Joel J. Kupperman - 1987 - Metaphilosophy 18 (2):95–107.
II. The Concept of Mental Illness: Working Through the Myths.David Michael Levin - 1976 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 19 (1-4):360-365.
The Metaphor of Mental Illness.Neil Pickering - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
A Truthmaking Account of Realism and Anti-Realism.Jamin Asay - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (3):373-394.
Mental Health as Rational Autonomy.Rem B. Edwards - 1981 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 6 (3):309-322.
The Reality of Mental Illness.Martin Roth - 1986 - Cambridge University Press.
Some Myths About 'Mental Illness'.Michael S. Moore - 1975 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 18 (3):233 – 265.


Added to PP index

Total views
18 ( #529,436 of 2,325,396 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #451,872 of 2,325,396 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes