This chapter identifies and explores a series of challenges raised by the clinical concept of delusion for theories which conceive autonomy as an agency rather than a status concept. The first challenge is to address the autonomy-impairing nature of delusions consistently with their role as grounds for full legal and ethical excuse, on the one hand, and psychopathological significance as key symptoms of psychoses, on the other. The second challenge is to take into account the full logical range of delusions, (...) which may take the form of true or false factual beliefs, positive or negative evaluations, as well as the paradoxical delusion of mental illness. The third and final challenge is to make room for non-pathological or, autonomy-preserving delusions and to offer a credible way of distinguishing between these and pathological or, autonomy-impairing delusions. By setting out these challenges, we are able to, firstly, distinguish between two separate conceptions of objectivity that may be at work in existing accounts of delusions and, secondly, to put a spotlight on an elusive yet inescapable notion of agential success that underlies our thinking about autonomy as well as mental disorder. (shrink)
Mental health research and care in the twenty first century faces a series of conceptual and ethical challenges arising from unprecedented advances in the neurosciences, combined with radical cultural and organisational change. The Oxford Textbook of Philosophy of Psychiatry is aimed at all those responding to these challenges, from professionals in health and social care, managers, lawyers and policy makers; service users, informal carers and others in the voluntary sector; through to philosophers, neuroscientists and clinical researchers. Organised around a series (...) of case studies in five key topic areas - concepts of disorder, the philosophical history of psychopathology, philosophy of science, ethics and philosophical value theory, and philosophy of mind - the book provides a detailed introduction to the field and a framework for study and skill development. 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. There is an introduction for philosophers to classification and descriptive psychopathology, and for practitioners to philosophical methods (including logic). The philosophical topics covered include philosophical methods (analytic and Continental); phenomenology, hermeneutics and existentialism, logical empiricism and its successors; idealism and realism; reasons and causes; and modern theories of mind and brain, free will and personal identity. Topics from mental health include psychiatry and 'anti-psychiatry'; Jaspers' psychopathology and the new neurosciences; the future of psychiatric classifications; strengths-based approaches, recovery practice, social inclusion and diversity; and key topics in psychopathology, such as delusion, autism, disorders of volition, thought insertion and other experiences in schizophrenia. The Oxford Textbook of Philosophy of Psychiatry aims to secure the skills-base of the discipline by bringing philosophers closer to the realities of practice in mental health, and mental health practitioners closer to the resources of philosophy as a partner to the sciences in responding to the challenges of twenty-first century mental health and social care. (shrink)
This edited volume illustrates the central importance of diversity of human values throughout healthcare. The readings are organised around the main stages of the clinical encounter from the patient's perspective. This introductory chapter opens up crucial issues of methodology and of practical application in this highly innovative approach to the role of ethics in healthcare.
Decision-making depends on bringing evidence together with values: decision theory for example employs probabilities and utilities; health economic decisions employ measures such as quality of life. The hypothesis guiding this chapter is that bringing evidence together with values in clinical decision-making requires an exercise of phronesis. Our aim however is not to justify our guiding hypothesis. It is rather to outline an account of phronesis that is in principle fit for the purposes of clinical decision-making if our guiding hypothesis is (...) correct. The chapter has three sections. Section 1 describes the growing gap between evidence and values in clinical decision-making: the missing link, we suggest, required to bridge this gap, is an appropriate account of phronesis. Section 2 provides an initial characterisation of the required account of phronesis via Michael Polanyi’s twin stipulation on the nature of tacit knowledge. Section 3 then fills out the required account using John McDowell’s characterisation of phronesis as a situation specific but at the same time conceptually structured form of practical discernment. A McDowellian account of phronesis, we argue, in satisfying Polanyi’s twin stipulation, provides an in-principle bridge between evidence and values. We conclude with a note on some of the further requirements if the gap is to be bridged not only in principle but in practice too. (shrink)
This “open letter” to Christopher Boorse is a response to his influential naturalist analysis of disease from the perspective of linguistic-analytic value theory. The key linguistic-analytic point against Boorse is that, although defining disease value free, he continue to use the term with clear evaluative connotations. A descriptivist analysis of disease would allow value-free definition consistently with value-laden use: but descriptivism fails when applied to mental disorder because it depends on shared values whereas the values relevant to mental disorders are (...) highly diverse. A part-function analysis, similarly, although initially persuasive for physical disorders, fails with the psychotic mental disorders because these, characteristically, involve disturbances of the rationality of the person as a whole. The difficulties encountered in applying naturalism to mental disorders point, linguistic-analytically, to the possibility that there is, after all, an evaluative element of meaning, deeply hidden but still logically operative, in the concept of disease. (shrink)
This volume illustrates the central importance of diversity of human values throughout healthcare. The readings are organized around the main stages of the clinical encounter from the patient's perspective. They run from staying well and 'first contact' through to either recovery or to long-term illness, death and dying.
In the current climate of dramatic advances in the neurosciences, it has been widely assumed that the diagnosis of mental disorder is a matter exclusively for value-free science. Starting from a detailed case history, this paper describes how, to the contrary, values come into the diagnosis of mental disorders, directly through the criteria at the heart of psychiatry's most scientifically grounded classification, the American Psychiatric Association's DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual). Various possible interpretations of the prominence of values in psychiatric (...) diagnosis are outlined. Drawing on work in the Oxford analytic tradition of philosophy, it is shown that, properly understood, the prominence of psychiatric diagnostic values reflects the necessary engagement of psychiatry with the diversity of individual human values. This interpretation opens up psychiatric diagnostic assessment to the resources of a new skills-based approach to working with complex and conflicting values (also derived from analytic philosophy) called 'values-based practice.' Developments in values-based practice in training, policy and research in mental health are briefly outlined. The paper concludes with an indication of how the integration of values-based with evidence-based approaches provides the basis for psychiatric practice in the twenty-first century that is both science-based and person-centred. (shrink)
Analyses of biological concepts of disease and social conceptions of health indicate that they are structurally interdependent. This in turn suggests the need for a bridge theory of illness. The main features of such a theory are an emphasis on the logical properties of value terms, close attention to the features of the experience of illness, and an analysis of this experience as action failure, drawing directly on the internal structure of action. The practical applications of this theory are outlined (...) for a number of problems in each of the three main practical areas, clinical work, teaching and research. In each case the resources of the theory suggest new models and generate new results. The full practical significance of the theory, however, is shown to consist in the way in which it ties together biological and social theories into an integrated picture of the conceptual structure of medicine as a whole. It is argued, finally, that practical efficiency of this kind is a test of theory not only in the philosophy of medicine but also in general philosophy. (shrink)
Nature and Narrative is the launch volume in a new series of books entitled International Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry. Nature(representing interest in the causes of a problem) and Narrative (for understanding its meanings) will introduce the field and the series, by touching on a range of issue relevant to this interdisciplinary 'border country'.
In Two Minds is a practical casebook of problem solving in psychiatric ethics. Written in a lively and accessible style, it builds on a series of detailed case histories to illustrate the central place of ethical reasoning as a key competency for clinical work and research in psychiatry. Topics include risk, dangerousness and confidentiality; judgements of responsibility; involuntary treatment and mental health legislation; consent to genetic screening; dual role issues in child and adolescent psychiatry; needs assessment; cross-cultural and gender issues; (...) rational and irrational suicide; shared decision making in multi-agency teams, and the growing role of the user's voice in psychiatry. Key ethical concepts are carefully introduced and explained. The text is richly supported by detailed guides for further reading. There are separate chapters on teaching psychiatric ethics, including a sample seminar, and on writing a research ethics application. Each case history and discussion is followed by a critical commentary from a practitioner with relevant experience. Jim Birley adds a comparative international perspective on psychiatric ethics. Cartoons by Johnny Cowee provide punchy counterpoint! In Two Minds is the sister volume to the third edition of Sidney, Paul Chodoff and Steven Green's highly successful Psychiatric Ethics. In providing a bridge between theory and practice, it will be essential reading for everyone concerned with improving standards in mental health care. (shrink)
The law of informed consent to medical treatment has recently been extensively overhauled in England. The 2015 Montgomery judgment has done away with the long-held position that the information to be disclosed by doctors when obtaining valid consent from patients should be determined on the basis of what a reasonable body of medical opinion agree ought to be disclosed in the circumstances. The UK Supreme Court concluded that the information that is material to a patient’s decision should instead be judged (...) by reference to a new two-limbed test founded on the notions of the ‘reasonable person’ and the ‘particular patient’. The rationale outlined in Montgomery for this new test of materiality, and academic comment on the ruling’s significance, has focused on the central ethical importance that the law now accords to respect for patient autonomy in the process of obtaining consent from patients. In this paper, we dispute the claim that the new test of materiality articulated in Montgomery equates with respect for autonomy being given primacy in re-shaping the development of the law in this area. We also defend this position, arguing that our revised interpretation of Montgomery’s significance does not equate with a failure by the courts to give due legal consideration to what is owed to patients as autonomous decision-makers in the consent process. Instead, Montgomery correctly implies that doctors are ethically obliged to attend to a number of relevant ethical considerations in framing decisions about consent to treatment, which include subtle interpretations of the values of autonomy and well-being. Doctors should give appropriate consideration to how these values are fleshed out and balanced in context in order to specify precisely what information ought to be disclosed to a patient as a requirement of obtaining consent, and as a core component of shared decision-making within medical encounters more generally. (shrink)
Until recently there has been little contact between the mind-brain debate in philosophy and the debate in psychiatry about the nature of mental illness. In this paper some of the analogies and disanalogies between the two debates are explored. It is noted in particular that the emphasis in modern philosophy of mind on the importance of the concept of action has been matched by a recent shift in the debate about mental illness from analyses of disease in terms of failure (...) of functioning to analyses of illness in terms of failure of action. The concept of action thus provides a natural conduit for two-way exchanges of ideas between philosophy and psychiatry. The potential fruitfulness of such exchanges is illustrated with an outline of the mutual heuristic significance of psychiatric work on delusions and philosophical accounts of Intentionality. (shrink)
This volume of articles, literature and case studies illustrates the central importance of human values throughout healthcare. The readings are structured around the main stages of the clinical encounter from the patient's perspective.
In addition to the neglect of philosophy by medicine, emphasized in a recent editorial in this journal, there has been an equally important neglect of medicine by philosophy. Philosophy stands to gain from medicine in three respects: in materials, the conceptual difficulties arising in the practice of medicine being key data for philosophical enquiry; in methods, these data, through their problematic character, being ideally suited to the technique of linguistic analysis; and in results, the practical requirements of medicine placing a (...) direct demand for progress on philosophical theory. The future of the relationship between philosophy and medicine depends on the development of a positive two-way trade between them. (shrink)
In this paper it is argued that bioethics has tended to emphasise: ‘high tech’ areas of medicine at the expense of ‘low tech’ areas such as psychiatry; problems arising in treatment at the expense of those associated with diagnosis; questions of fact at the expense of questions of value; and applied ethics at the expense of philosophical theory. The common factor linking these four ‘bioethical blind spots’ is a failute to recognise the full extent to which medicine is an ethical (...) as well as scientific discipline. Once this is acknowledged it leads to a full-field bioethics in which the different areas are mutually complementary. In particular, it paves the way for a fruitful two-way exchange between the more abstract aspects of philosophical theory and the contingencies of day-to-day clinical work. The arguments of the paper are illustrated with recent work on the abuse of psychiatry. (shrink)
This collection examines prevalent assumptions in moral reasoning which are often accepted uncritically in medical ethics. It introduces a range of perspectives from philosophy and medicine on the nature of moral reasoning and relates these to illustrative problems, such as New Reproductive Technologies, the treatment of sick children, the assessment of quality of life, genetics, involuntary psychiatric treatment and abortion. In each case, the contributors address the nature and worth of the moral theories involved in discussions of the relevant issues, (...) and focus on the types of reasoning which are employed. 'Medical ethics is in danger of becoming a subject kept afloat by a series of platitudes about respect for persons or the importance of autonomy. This book is a bold and imaginative attempt to break away from such rhetoric into genuine informative dialogue between philosophers and doctors, with no search after consensus.' Mary Warnock. (shrink)
Marie Stenlund’s careful reading of values-based practice and her demonstration of its links with Martha Nussbaum’s Capabilities Framework are innovative theoretically and have potentially important implications for policy and practice in mental health. As she indicates the two approaches converge in a number of key respects. Notably, both recognise the diversity of individual human values. This diversity crucially underpins contemporary person-centred conceptions of recovery in mental health based on quality of life as defined by reference to the values of the (...) person concerned rather than that of a generic professional ‘needs assessment’.1 2 Where the two theories diverge, too, Stenlund finds practically important consequences. Thus Nussbaum’s Capabilities Framework, as Stenlund indicates, is outcomes-oriented, while values-based practice focuses on process. The two approaches are not however thereby necessarily inconsistent. Drawing on early accounts of values-based practice, Stenlund suggests a degree of implicit blurring between it and Nussbaum’s capabilities. Here we need to be careful: values-based practice does not regard recovery as an outcome; it …. (shrink)
Marie Stenlund’s careful reading of values-based practice and her demonstration of its links with Martha Nussbaum’s Capabilities Framework are innovative theoretically and have potentially important implications for policy and practice in mental health. As she indicates the two approaches converge in a number of key respects. Notably, both recognise the diversity of individual human values. This diversity crucially underpins contemporary person-centred conceptions of recovery in mental health based on quality of life as defined by reference to the values of the (...) person concerned rather than that of a generic professional ‘needs assessment’. 1 2 Where the two theories diverge, too, Stenlund finds practically important consequences. Thus Nussbaum’s Capabilities Framework, as Stenlund indicates, is outcomes-oriented, while values-based practice focuses on process. The two approaches are not however thereby necessarily inconsistent. Drawing on early accounts of values-based practice (from 2006 and... (shrink)
These are exciting times for philosophy and psychiatry. After drifting apart for most of this century, the two disciplines, if not yet fully reconciled, are suddenly at least on speaking terms. With hindsight we may wonder why they should have ignored each other for so long. As Anthony Quinton pointed out in a lecture to the Royal Institute of Philosophy a few years ago, it is remarkable that philosophers, in a sense the experts on rationality, should have had so little (...) to say about the phenomena of irrationality. There have been partial exceptions, of course. Descartes and Kant both touched on madness; and there were, notably, important philosophical influences on the development of modern psychiatry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Yet even John Locke, who was a doctor as well as philosopher, confined himself to a fair-l y superficial distinction between what we should now call mental illness and mental defect—those with, in Locke's view, respectively too many ideas and too few. (shrink)
Ten years ago the Royal Institute of Philosophy marked the establishment of the Society for Applied Philosophy with a series of public lectures, published in an earlier book in this series, under the title Philosophy and Practice. Looking back it i s hard to believe this was only ten years ago. Applied philosophy still has its critics. But it is now so pervasive, so much the norm, that it seems to have been with us always. Law, medicine, education, nursing, the (...) environment, politics, economics … almost it seems, no subject is quite respectable nowadays without its philosophy and its philosophical exponents. (shrink)