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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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)
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.
Folk psychology is the psychology deployed by ordinary folk and by scientists in ordinary life. At its most basic level, it consists of deploying the concept of mind to explain and predict behavior. This article (i) considers how folk psychology may have begun, by considering an imaginary race of primitive folk deploying the rudimentary nucleus of the psychology, or a rudimentary concept of mind, and (ii) examines one argument for the evolutionary emergence and adaptivity of folk psychology. The crucial issue (...) emerging from this is how primitive folk could have competently deployed the concept or the psychology in such a way as to survive and proliferate in consequence of successfully predicting behavior. Dennett and others are on the right track when they regard folk psychology as adaptive. But care and caution are needed in resolving the issue of competent deployment. (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)