_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)
Psychiatry is unique in medicine in being on the border between science and the humanities. Science provides insight into the 'causes' of a problem, enabling us to formulate an 'explanation', while the humanities provide insight into its 'meanings' and helps with our 'understanding'. The new interdisciplinary field of 'philosophy of psychiatry' has developed to explore the range of issues relevant to this border country. The Oxford Textbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry is a unique textbook which provides a detailed introduction to (...) the field, a framework for study and skill development, and an overview of current research. It focuses on case studies in 5 key topic areas. 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. (shrink)
What is a religious or spiritual delusion? What does religious delusion reveal about the difference between good and bad spirituality? What is the connection between religious delusion and moral failure? Or between religious delusion and religious terrorism? Or religious delusion and despair?The Abraham Dilemma: A Divine Delusion is the first book written by a philosopher on the topic of religious delusion - on the disorder's causes, contents, consequences, diagnosis and treatment. The book argues that we cannot understand a religious delusion (...) without appreciating three facts. One is that religiosity or spirituality is a part of human nature, whether it takes theistic or non-theistic forms. Another is that religious delusion is something to which we are all vulnerable. The third is that the delusion is not best understood by reducing it to brain chemistry, or by insisting that it is empirically false. It is best understood by examining its harmful personal and moral consequences - consequences that nearly unfolded when the biblical patriarch Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac in response to a command, he thought, from God.The book presents a fascinating and profound exploration of a phenomenon as old as mankind itself. (shrink)
Too little attention has been paid by philosophers to the cognitive and epistemic dimensions of emotional disturbances such as depression, grief, and anxiety and to the possibility of justification or warrant for such conditions. The chief aim of the present paper is to help to remedy that deficiency with respect to depression. Taxonomy of depression reveals two distinct forms: depression (1) with intentionality and (2) without intentionality. Depression with intentionality can be justified or unjustified, warranted or unwarranted. I argue that (...) the effort of Aaron Beck to show that depressive reasoning is necessarily illogical and distorted is flawed. I identify an essential characteristic of that depression which is a mental illness. Finally, I describe the potential of depression to provide credal contact with important truths. (shrink)
Stephens and Grahamset themselves an apparently modest task, to understand why people who experience alien voices and inserted thoughts do not believe that they themselves are the source of these experiences. However, it soon becomes clear that there are many connected issues here. In eight short chapters, they address the phenomenology and ontology of consciousness, the phenomenology of alien voices, inserted thoughts, obsessive-compulsive thoughts and feelings, and other cases of unusual experience often associated with psychopathology, including brief discussion of multiple (...) personality disorder. They survey some of the main empirical explanations of the phenomenology, set out the shortcomings of these theories, and end by proposing their own schematic account. (shrink)
Folk psychological realism is the view that folk psychology is true and that people really do have propositional attitudes, whereas anti-realism is the view that folk psychology is false and people really do not have propositional attitudes. We argue that anti-realism is not worthy of acceptance and that realism is eminently worthy of acceptance. However, it is plainly epistemically possible to favor either of two forms of folk realism: scientific or non-scientific. We argue that non-scientific realism, while perhaps unpopular among (...) philosophers of mind, is a distinct form of realism from scientific realism, and that it is not yet knowable whether scientific or non-scientific realism is true. We also outline how adopting realism, but remaining neutral between scientific and non-scientific realism, offers fresh insights into such topics as instrumentalism, supervenience, the language of thought hypothesis, and elimin-ativism. (shrink)
This paper outlines a multidimensional conception of Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) that differs from the 'orthodox' conception in terms of the content of its commitment to the reality of the self. Unlike the orthodox conception it recognizes that selves are fuzzy entities. By appreciating the possibility that selves are fuzzy entities, it is possible to rebut a form of fictionalism about the self which appeals to clinical data from MPD. Realism about self can be preserved in the face of multiple (...) personalities. (shrink)
Current profess ional and la y lore ove rlook the ro le of hone sty in develop ing and s ustaining intimate relationships. We w ish to ass ert its importa nce. W e begin b y analyz ing the no tion of intimac y. An intim ate encounter or exchange, we argue, is one in which one verbally or non-verbally privately reveals something about oneself, and does so in a sensitive, trusting way. An intimate relationship is one marked by (...) regular intimate encounters or excha nges. Then, we co nsider two sorts of cases wh ere it is widely thought permissible, if not lauda tory, to lie to one 's intimates. In discrediting these presumably central cases of justified dishonesty, we put forward general considerations requiring hones ty. We e nd by s ugges ting how 'meta honesty'--hone sty about one's own efforts at communication, including one's efforts to be honest--is particularly important in intimate relationships. (shrink)
Are delusions best understood as a species of belief? Can I be deluded that p without believing that p? Because delusion is a clinical symptom, there are conflicting data at every turn. Perhaps it is best to think of delusions as beliefs not because they necessarily are beliefs, but because doing so helps patients. If one thinks that “denying that delusions are beliefs” means denying deluded patients “a voice in their own treatment” and that this would cut them off from (...) alternative and healthier ways of thinking of themselves or the world, then one may wish to classify delusions as beliefs (see Kinderman and Bentall 2007, 288). I do not wish to classify delusions as beliefs (and I doubt .. (shrink)
Les délires sont des composantes cruciales de nombreux troubles psychiques, surtout la schizophrénie. Que sont les délires? Selon l’opinion courante, il s’agit d’un type de croyance, plus précisément, une croyance pathologique. Malheureusement, l’opinion courante ne correspond pas rigoureusement, dans tous les cas, à la pratique clinique, où l’expression « délire » est souvent appliquée à des états qui ne sont pas des croyances. Nous examinons les raisons pour lesquelles des états qui ne sont pas des croyances peuvent être considérés comme (...) des délires. Nous soutenons que les délires sont des structures complexes d’attitudes d’ordre supérieur et inférieur. Ils constituent un type spécifique de défaillance de la connaissance et de la gestion de soi. Nous fournirons une description du type en question. Notre point de vue implique sur le plan conceptuel que les croyances ne sont pas essentielles aux délires.Delusions are critical components in a number of mental disorders, schizophrenia formost. What are they? The standard view is that they are a type of belief — a pathological belief. Unfortunately, the standard view does not consistently correspond to clinical practice, where the term « delusion » often applies to non-beliefs. We review the case for saying that non-beliefs can count as delusions. We argue that delusions are complexes of higher and lower order attitudes. They constitute a distinctive type of failure of self-knowledge and self-management. We describe the relevant type. One of the conceptual implications of our view is that beliefs need not be central to delusions. (shrink)
Schizophrenia has been investigated predominately from psychological, psychiatric and neurobiological perspectives. This book is unique in examining it from a philosophical point of view. It should appeal to every reader who wants to better understand this major mental illness, providing unique insights into the 'experience' of schizophrenia.
Metacognitive attitudes can affect behavior but do they do so, as Koriat claims, because they enhance voluntary control? This Commentary makes a case for saying that metacognitive consciousness may enhance not control but subjective predictability and may be best studied by examining not just healthy, well-integrated cognizers, but victims of multilevel mental disorders.
Should we distinguish between access and phenomenal consciousness? Block says yes and that various pathologies of consciousness support and clarify the distinction. The commentary charge that the distinction is neither supported nor clarified by the clinical data. It recommends an alternative reading of the data and urges Block to clarify the distinction.