The Disordered Mind, Third Edition is a wide-ranging introduction to the philosophy of mental disorder or illness. It examines and explains, from a philosophical standpoint, what mental disorder is: its reality, causes, consequences, compassionate treatment, and more. Revised and updated throughout, the third edition includes enhanced discussions of the distinction between mental health and illness, selfhood and delusions about the self, impairments of basic psychological capacities in mental disorder and the distinct roles that mental causation and neural (...) mechanisms play in mental illness. The book is organized around four questions: What is a mental disorder or illness? What makes mental disorder something bad? What are various mental disorders and what do they tell us about the mind? What is mental health and how may it be restored? Numerous disorders are discussed including: addiction, agoraphobia, delusion, depression, dissociative identity disorder, obsession-compulsion, schizophrenia, and religious scrupulosity, among others. Several neurological disorders are examined. Various problems associated with DSM-5 and with psychiatric diagnosis are explored. Including chapter summaries and suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter, The Disordered Mind presupposes no special background in philosophy, and as such will be of interest to those in related disciplines such as psychology, psychiatry and mental health, and professions such as nursing and social work. (shrink)
Some would say that philosophy can contribute more to the occurrence of mental disorder than to the study of it. Thinking too much does have its risks, but so do willful ignorance and selective inattention. Well, what can philosophy contribute? It is not equipped to enumerate the symptoms and varieties of disorder or to identify their diverse causes, much less offer cures (maybe it can do that-personal philosophical therapy is now available in the Netherlands). On the other hand, (...) the scientific study of mental disorder has a long way to go. There is much disagreement and uncertainty about the nature, causes, and treatment of many specific disorders, as is evident from DSM's classification of them in predominantly symptomatic terms. And even if what is reflected in DSM were a consensus rather than a compromise, still this shifts periodically with each new edition. Moreover, it is a notorious fact that many patients who clearly have psychiatric abnormalities do not fit any of the recognized diagnostic categories.1. (shrink)
As it emerged from philosophical analyses and cognitive research, most concepts exhibit typicality effects, and resist to the efforts of defining them in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions. This holds also in the case of many medical concepts. This is a problem for the design of computer science ontologies, since knowledge representation formalisms commonly adopted in this field (such as, in the first place, the Web Ontology Language - OWL) do not allow for the representation of concepts in terms (...) of typical traits. The need of representing concepts in terms of typical traits concerns almost every domain of real world knowledge, including medical domains. In particular, in this article we take into account the domain of mental disorders, starting from the DSM-5 descriptions of some specific disorders. We favour a hybrid approach to concept representation, in which ontology oriented formalisms are combined to a geometric representation of knowledge based on conceptual space. As a preliminary step to apply our proposal to mental disorder concepts, we started to develop an OWL ontology of the schizophrenia spectrum, which is as close as possible to the DSM-5 descriptions. (shrink)
In this chapter, we investigate whether psychopathy is a mental disorder. We argue that addressing this question requires engaging, at least, with three principal issues that have conceptual, empirical, and normative dimensions. First, it must be established whether current measures of psychopathy individuate a unitary class of individuals. By this we mean that persons classifed as psychopaths should share some relevant similarities that support explanation, prediction, and treatment. Second, it must be proven that psychopathy harms the person who has (...) it. Third, it must be established that the harm associated with psychopathy is relevant for the ascription of disorder status. Regarding this latter issue, we argue that psychopathy should be considered a disorder if its harmfulness derives from certain incapacities or limited capacities. These incapacities should affect basic competences that are justifably required for conducting a preferable type of life. Within this framework, we tentatively advance the hypothesis that some normatively justifed conclusions and empirical evidence about psychopathy, that needs nonetheless to be further investigated, might support the claim that people with psychopathy have a mental disorder. (shrink)
According to a popular line of thought, being excluded from interpersonal life is to be exempted from accountability, and vice versa. In ordinary life, this is most often illustrated by the treatment of people with serious psychological disorders. When people are excluded from valuable domains on the basis of their arbitrary characteristics (such as race and sex), they are discriminated against, prevented from receiving the benefits of participation in those domains for morally irrelevant reasons. Exemption from accountability—via exclusion from the (...) interpersonal domain—seems to prevent exempted parties from receiving crucial human goods for morally irrelevant reasons. This chapter discusses two widely deployed ways of trying to ameliorate morally costly disabilities. Both fail to apply viably to various psychopathologies. The solution involves disentangling accountability and interpersonality in a way that also provides insights into our shared human nature. (shrink)
This book brings together insights from the enactivist approach in philosophy of mind and existing work on autonomous agency from both philosophy of action and feminist philosophy. It then utilizes this proposed account of autonomous agency to make sense of the impairments in agency that commonly occur in cases of dissociative identity disorder, mood disorders, and psychopathy. While much of the existing philosophical work on autonomy focuses on threats that come from outside the agent, this book addresses how inner (...) conflict, instability of character, or motivational issues can disrupt agency. In the first half of the book, the author conceptualizes what it means to be self-governing and to exercise autonomous agency. In the second half, she investigates the extent to which agents with various forms of mental disorder are capable of exercising autonomy. In her view, many forms of mental disorder involve disruptions to self-governance, so that agents lack sufficient control over their intentional behavior or are unable to formulate and execute coherent action plans. However, this does not mean that they are utterly incapable of autonomous agency; rather, their ability to exercise this capacity is compromised in important respects. Understanding these agential impairments can help to deepen our understanding of what it means to exercise autonomy, and also devise more effective treatments that restore subjects' agency. Autonomy, Enactivism, and Mental Disorder will be of interest to researchers and advanced students working in philosophy of mind, philosophy of action, philosophy of psychiatry, and feminist philosophy. (shrink)
_The Disordered Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Mental Illness, second edition_ examines and explains, from a philosophical standpoint, what mental disorder is: its reality, causes, consequences, and more. It is also an outstanding introduction to philosophy of mind from the perspective of mental disorder. Revised and updated throughout, this _second edition_ includes new discussions of grief and psychopathy, the problems of the psychophysical basis of disorder, the nature of selfhood, and clarification of the relation (...) between rationality and mental disorder. Each chapter explores a central question or problem about mental disorder, including: what is mental disorder and can it be distinguished from neurological disorder? what roles should reference to psychological, cultural, and social factors play in the medical/scientific understanding of mental disorder? what makes mental disorders undesirable? Are they diseases? mental disorder and the mind–body problem is mental disorder a breakdown of rationality? What is a rational mind? addiction, responsibility and compulsion ethical dilemmas posed by mental disorder, including questions of dignity and self-respect. Each topic is clearly explained and placed in a clinical and philosophical context. Mental disorders discussed include clinical depression, dissociative identity disorder, anxiety, religious delusions, and paranoia. Several non-mental neurological disorders that possess psychological symptoms are also examined, including Alzheimer’s disease, Down’s syndrome, and Tourette’s syndrome. Containing chapter summaries and suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter, _The Disordered Mind, second edition_ is a superb introduction to the philosophy of mental disorder for students of philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, and related mental health professions. (shrink)
Graham, Noelle Comparisons are drawn between media reporting of eating disorders and other.forms of self-harm. Proper understanding of these illnesses can protect sufferers from further harm caused by inaccurate and insensitive reporting.
In 1990, when the Berlin Wall fell and the Cold War ended, economic and political analysts declared the world a safer place. But not political journalist Robert Harvey. The roar of international optimism only intensified the pangs of his geopolitical anxiety. In 1995, in The Return of the Strong, he warned Western democracies that the tides of economic globalization were sweeping the world toward a new crisis. Unfortunately, the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on September (...) 11, 2001, justified Harvey's alarm. It also prompted him to revise and update his analysis of the dangers facing the free world. Global Disorder not only examines the precarious state of world affairs in the aftermath of 9/11 but also offers far-reaching proposals for the reform of global security. In light of the emergence of the United States as the world's first megapower, Harvey explores the sources of international tension that have increasingly commanded the attention of the West and lays out the perils inherent in the globalization of capitalism without political or economic control. He presents constructive measures that he believes the West—especially the United States—must undertake to restore stability around the world and truly ensure international security. (shrink)
This book is unique in presenting evidence on development across the lifespan across multiple levels of description. The authors use a well-defined disorder - Williams syndrome, to explore the impact of genes, brain development, behaviour, as well as the individual's environment on development.
These two companion volumes provide a comprehensive review and critical evaluation of the major DSM-III and DSM-III-R child disorders. Their major goal is to provide diagnostic and assessment guidelines that are based on scientific literature in specific clinical domains. Each chapter contains a discussion of the historical background of a particular diagnosis, definitional issues, a critical but selective review of the literature addressing the diagnosis in question, proposed changes in the diagnostic criteria based on the available literature, and proposed assessment (...) models and methods based on the designated criteria. Given the scientific bases for many of these discussions of diagnostic criteria, these two volumes will serve professionals and graduate students in a wide variety of fields: clinical child psychology, child psychiatry, pediatrics, pediatric and school psychology, special education, social work, and other child mental health specialties. (shrink)
Philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, and psychiatrists examine the will and its pathologies from theoretical and empirical perspectives, offering a conceptual overview and discussing schizophrenia, depression, prefrontal lobe damage, and substance abuse as disorders of volition. Science tries to understand human action from two perspectives, the cognitive and the volitional. The volitional approach, in contrast to the more dominant "outside-in" studies of cognition, looks at actions from the inside out, examining how actions are formed and informed by internal conditions. In Disorders of (...) Volition, scholars from a range of disciplines seek to advance our understanding of the processes supporting voluntary action by addressing conditions in which the will is impaired. Philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, and psychiatrists examine the will and its pathologies from both theoretical and empirical perspectives, offering a conceptual overview and discussing specific neurological and psychiatric conditions as disorders of volition. After presenting different conceptual frameworks that identify agency, decision making, and goal pursuit as central components of volition, the book examines how impairments in these and other aspects of volition manifest themselves in schizophrenia, depression, prefrontal lobe damage, and substance abuse. Contributors George Ainslie, Tim Bayne, Antoine Bechara, Paul W. Burgess, Anna-Lisa Cohen, Daniel Dennett, Stéphanie Dubal, Philippe Fossati, Chris Frith, Sam J. Gilbert, Peter Gollwitzer, Jordan Grafman, Patrick Haggard, Jay G. Hull, Marc Jeannerod, Roland Jouvent, Frank Krueger, Neil Levy, Peter F. Liddle, Kristen L. Mackiewitz, Thomas Metzinger, Jack B. Nitschke, Jiro Okuda, Adrian M. Owen, Chris Parry, Wolfgang Prinz, Joëlle Proust, Michael A. Sayette, Werner X. Schneider, Natalie Sebanz, Jon S. Simons, Laurie B. Slone, Sean A. Spence. (shrink)
This article critically examines Louis Charland’s claim that personality disorders are moral rather than medical kinds by exploring the relationship between personality disorders and virtue ethics. We propose that the conceptual resources of virtue theory can inform psychiatry’s thinking about personality disorders, but also that virtue theory as understood by Aristotle cannot be reduced to the narrow domain of ‘the moral’ in the modern sense of the term. Some overlap between the moral domain’s notion of character-based ethics and the medical (...) domain’s notion of character-based disorders is unavoidable. We also apply a modified version of John Sadler’s “moral wrongfulness test” to borderline and narcissistic personality disorders. With respect to both diagnoses, we argue that they involve negative moral evaluations, but may also have indispensable nonmoral features and, therefore, classify legitimate psychiatric disorders. (shrink)
For the last thirty years, cognitive scientists have attempted to describe the cognitive architecture of typically developing human beings, using, among other sources of evidence, the dissociations that result from developmental psychopathologies such as autism spectrum disorders, Williams syndrome, and Down syndrome. Thus, in his recent defense of the massive modularity hypothesis, Steven Pinker insists on the importance of such dissociations to identify the components of the typical cognitive architecture (2005, 4; my emphasis): This kind of faculty psychology has numerous (...) advantages (...). It is supported by the existence of neurological and genetic disorders that target these faculties unevenly, such as a difficulty in recognizing faces (and facelike shapes) but not other objects, or a difficulty in reasoning about minds but not about objects or pictures. Similarly, Simon Baron-Cohen writes (1998, 335; my emphasis; see also Temple, 1997): I suggest that the study of mental retardation would profit from the application of the framework of cognitive neuropsychology (…). In cognitive neuropsychology, one key question running through the investigator’s mind is “Is this process or mechanism intact or impaired in this person?” When cognitive neuropsychology is done well, a patient’s cognitive system is examined with specific reference to a model of the normal cognitive system. And, not infrequently, evidence from the patient’s cognitive deficits leads to a revision of the model of the normal system. However, in recent years, the use of developmental psychopathologies to identify the components of the typical cognitive architecture has come under heavy fire. In a series of influential articles, neuropsychologist Annette Karmiloff-Smith has argued that findings about the pattern of impairments and preserved capacities in people with developmental psychopathologies say nothing about the cognitive architecture of.. (shrink)
Thesis: Those affected by mental disorders whose actions are episodically influenced by their disorder are often overlooked by philosophers of moral and ethical responsibility. Allen gives us reasons for thinking it is inappropriate to either: a) “summarily exclude people with mental problems out of the universe of moral agents, reducing them to the status of rocks, trees, animals, and infants” b) “include the group on the false assumption that their moral lives are precisely like the paradigmatic moral lives of (...) the epistemically-sound and well-regulated people never personally touched by a mental condition” We must explore a revised approach to moral and ethical responsibility and obligation for this group. (shrink)
This short contribution questions the ethics of basing the way we think and act in relation to mental disorder on beliefs and assumptions that are in the view of the author at best, unhelpful and at worst, simply incorrect.
This book is the second volume of an interdisciplinary study, chiefly one of philosophy and psychology, which concerns personality, especially the abnormal in terms of states of aloneness, primarily that of the negative emotional isolation customarily known as loneliness. Other states of aloneness investigated include solitude, reclusiveness, seclusion, desolation, isolation, and what the author terms “aloneliness,” “alonism,” “lonism,” and “lonerism.”Insofar as this study most explicitly focuses on abnormal personalities, it employs the general and specific definitions of personality aberrations as formulated (...) by the American Psychiatric Association in its latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . The author views personality as preeminently comprised of the individual's interpersonal relationships. Unlike the DSM-IV, he proposes that people with personality disorders not only possibly but necessarily manifest deviancy regarding interpersonal functioning via serious shortcomings in shared inwardness, paramountly reciprocated intimacy.This work also engages in an analysis of five social factors that are conducive to predisposing, precipitating, and maintaining negative kinds of personality and aloneness. The author has formed these factors into an acronym titled SCRAM since when they are present, intimacy scurries away and in its absence, loneliness and other sorts of unwanted aloneness scamper in and fill the person with unhappiness via, for instance, sadness and self-worthlessness. The constituents of SCRAM are the following social illnesses: Successitis , Capitalitis , Rivalitis , Atomitis , and Materialitis .In sum, this book provides a different perspective on personality via the lenses of various types of aloneness and their lack of public and private intimacy, especially love. (shrink)
Khalafzai, Rida Usman The prevalence of eating disorders is increasing. This article provides an overview of these disorders and explores the biological and social conditions that influence their development.
According to a standard picture of agency, a person’s actions always reflect what they most desire, and many theorists extend this model to mental illness. In this chapter, I pin down exactly where this “volitional” view goes wrong. The key is to recognize that human motivational architecture involves a regulatory control structure: we have both spontaneous states (e.g., automatically-elicited thoughts and action tendencies, etc.) as well as regulatory mechanisms that allow us to suppress or modulate these spontaneous states. Our regulatory (...) abilities, however, are bounded. Mental illnesses, I argue, arise precisely where these bounds are reached, thus allowing inappropriate spontaneous states to regularly manifest in thought and action. I conclude that the volitional view of mental illness is wrong: when a person with mental illness reaches the limits of control, what they do often does not reflect what they most prefer. (shrink)
I shall begin with the "anti-psychiatry" view that the lack of a physical basis excludes many familiar mental disorders from the category of "illness". My response to this argument will be that anti-psychiatrists are probably right to hold that most mental disorders do not involve any physical disorder, but that they are wrong to conclude from this that these mental disorders are not illnesses.
Although formal thought disorder (FTD) has been for long a clinical label in the assessment of some psychiatric disorders, in particular of schizophrenia, it remains a source of controversy, mostly because it is hard to say what exactly the “formal” in FTD refers to. We see anomalous processing of terminological knowledge, a core construct of human knowledge in general, behind FTD symptoms and we approach this anomaly from a strictly formal perspective. More specifically, we present here a symbolic computational (...) model of storage in, and activation of, a human semantic network, or semantic memory, whose core element is logical form; this is normalized by description logic (DL), namely by CL, a DL-based language – Conception Language – designed to formalize conceptualization from the viewpoint of individual cognitive agency. In this model, disruptions in the rule-based implementation of the logical form account for the apparently semantic anomalies symptomatic of FTD, which are detected by means of a CL-based algorithmic assessment. (shrink)
This article gives an overview of what we can learn about face perception from studying its disorders. The term “disorders” is broadly interpreted to include acquired brain injury and disease, neurodevelopmental differences, and neuropsychiatric problems. The article examines the reasons for various opinions about what can be learnt from disorders, ranging from the entire spectrum from “nothing that isn't misleading” to “everything worth knowing.” Cognitive neuropsychology typically operates in a unique way, in which the emphasis is on detailed analysis of (...) individual patients with theoretically interesting impairments. The article then highlights a number of the assumptions that get made, explains why things are often complicated, and emphasizes the value of a pragmatic “converging operations” approach in which evidence from disorders of face perception is brought together with other sources of data and theory. (shrink)
In this brief commentary, I would like to discuss two reservations I have about the article by Bergner and Bunford. Before doing so let me make some preliminary remarks.Their hypothesis that the concept of disability unites the various mental disorder constructs that have been proposed over the centuries and across cultures is reasonable and accords well with common sense. The concept of disability does a lot of good work in helping us to understand mental disorders.With respect to the authors’ (...) contrast between the disability conception versus the behavioral conception of mental disorder, the notion that counting behaviors alone justifies diagnosing a psychiatric disorder is worth critiquing. Claiming that everyone... (shrink)
It is commonly thought that mental disorder is a valid concept only in so far as it is an extension of or continuous with the concept of physical disorder. A valid extension has to meet two criteria: determination and coherence. Essentialists meet these criteria through necessary and sufficient conditions for being a disorder. Two Wittgensteinian alternatives to essentialism are considered and assessed against the two criteria. These are the family resemblance approach and the secondary sense approach. Where (...) the focus is solely on the characteristics or attributes of things, both these approaches seem to fail to meet the criteria for valid extension. However, this focus on attributes is mistaken. The criteria for valid extension are met in the case of family resemblance by the pattern of characteristics associated with a concept, and by the limits of intelligibility of applying a concept. Secondary sense, though it may have some claims to be a good account of the relation between physical and mental disorder, cannot claim to meet the two criteria of valid extension. (shrink)