In their target article, McKay & Dennett (M&D) conclude that only are adaptive misbeliefs. Relying on overly strict conceptual schisms (deficit vs. motivational, functional vs. organic, perception vs. belief), they prematurely discount delusions as biologically adaptive. In contrast to their view that plays a psychological but not a biological function in a two-factor model of the forming and maintenance of delusions, we propose a single impairment in prediction-error–driven (i.e., motivational) learning in three stages in which delusions play a biologically adaptive (...) role. (shrink)
Decades ago, several authors have proposed that disorders in automatic processing lead to intrusive symptoms or abnormal contents in the consciousness of people with schizophrenia. However, since then, studies have mainly highlighted difficulties in patients’ conscious experiencing and processing but rarely explored how unconscious and conscious mechanisms may interact in producing this experience. We report three lines of research, focusing on the processing of spatial frequencies, unpleasant information, and time-event structure that suggest that impairments occur at both the unconscious and (...) conscious level.We argue that focusing on unconscious, physiological and automatic processing of information in patients, while contrasting that processing with conscious processing, is a first required step before understanding how distortions or other impairments emerge at the conscious level. We then indicate that the phenomenological tradition of psychiatry supports a similar claim and provides a theoretical framework helping to understand the relationship between the impairments and clinical symptoms. We base our argument on the presence of disorders in the minimal self in patients with schizophrenia. The minimal self is tacit and non-verbal and refers to the sense of bodily presence. We argue this sense is shaped by unconscious processes, whose alteration may thus affect the feeling of being a unique individual. This justifies a focus on unconscious mechanisms and a distinction from those associated with consciousness. (shrink)
Kafka's writings are frequently interpreted as representing the historical period of modernism in which he was writing. Little attention has been paid, however, to the possibility that his writings may reflect neural mechanisms in the processing of self during hypnagogic (i.e., between waking and sleep) states. Kafka suffered from dream-like, hypnagogic hallucinations during a sleep-deprived state while writing. This paper discusses reasons (phenomenological and neurobiological) why the self projects an imaginary double (autoscopy) in its spontaneous hallucinations and how Kafka's writings (...) help to elucidate the underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms. I further discuss how the proposed mechanisms may be relevant to understanding paranoid delusions in schizophrenia. Literature documents and records cognitive and neural processes of self with an intimacy that may be otherwise unavailable to neuroscience. To elucidate this approach, I contrast it with the apparently popularizing view that the symptoms of schizophrenia result from what has been called an operative (i.e., pre-reflective) hyper-reflexivity. The latter approach claims that pre-reflective self-awareness (diminished in schizophrenia) pervades all conscious experience (however, in a manner that remains unverifiable for both phenomenological and experimental methods). This contribution argues the opposite: the. (shrink)
In face of the multiple controversies surrounding the DSM process in general and the development of DSM-5 in particular, we have organized a discussion around what we consider six essential questions in further work on the DSM. The six questions involve: 1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role (...) of pragmatic considerations in the construction of DSM-5; 5) the issue of utility of the DSM - whether DSM-III and IV have been designed more for clinicians or researchers, and how this conflict should be dealt with in the new manual; and 6) the possibility and advisability, given all the problems with DSM-III and IV, of designing a different diagnostic system. Part I of this article took up the first two questions. Part II will take up the second two questions. Question 3 deals with the question as to whether DSM-V should assume a conservative or assertive posture in making changes from DSM-IV. That question in turn breaks down into discussion of diagnoses that depend on, and aim toward, empirical, scientific validation, and diagnoses that are more value-laden and less amenable to scientific validation. Question 4 takes up the role of pragmatic consideration in a psychiatric nosology, whether the purely empirical considerations need to be tempered by considerations of practical consequence. As in Part 1 of this article, the general introduction, as well as the introductions and conclusions for the specific questions, are written by James Phillips, and the responses to commentaries are written by Allen Frances. (shrink)
The work of Hussefl and Freud had common sources in the philosophy, psychology and physiology of the nineteenth century. Herbart, Brentano, Helmholtz, Fechner, Wundt and Mach were among the towering figures in their common background who had influence on their respective work. 1 Although contemporaries who had little concern for the other's professional interest, Husserl and Freud nevertheless struggled with some common problems. One of these is the relationship of sensation to memory and to the experience of time. The concepts (...) of sensation, memory and time were, in fact, artifacts which the empirical methods of nerve-physiology, the psychophysical testing of sensory thresholds, as well as the metaphysics and positivism of the late nineteenth century had left them. (shrink)
In face of the multiple controversies surrounding the DSM process in general and the development of DSM-5 in particular, we have organized a discussion around what we consider six essential questions in further work on the DSM. The six questions involve: 1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role (...) of pragmatic considerations in the construction of DSM-5; 5) the issue of utility of the DSM - whether DSM-III and IV have been designed more for clinicians or researchers, and how this conflict should be dealt with in the new manual; and 6) the possibility and advisability, given all the problems with DSM-III and IV, of designing a different diagnostic system. Part I of this article will take up the first two questions. With the first question, invited commentators express a range of opinion regarding the nature of psychiatric disorders, loosely divided into a realist position that the diagnostic categories represent real diseases that we can accurately name and know with our perceptual abilities, a middle, nominalist position that psychiatric disorders do exist in the real world but that our diagnostic categories are constructs that may or may not accurately represent the disorders out there, and finally a purely constructivist position that the diagnostic categories are simply constructs with no evidence of psychiatric disorders in the real world. The second question again offers a range of opinion as to how we should define a mental or psychiatric disorder, including the possibility that we should not try to formulate a definition. The general introduction, as well as the introductions and conclusions for the specific questions, are written by James Phillips, and the responses to commentaries are written by Allen Frances. (shrink)
In the conclusion to this multi-part article I first review the discussions carried out around the six essential questions in psychiatric diagnosis – the position taken by Allen Frances on each question, the commentaries on the respective question along with Frances’ responses to the commentaries, and my own view of the multiple discussions. In this review I emphasize that the core question is the first – what is the nature of psychiatric illness – and that in some manner all further (...) questions follow from the first. Following this review I attempt to move the discussion forward, addressing the first question from the perspectives of natural kind analysis and complexity analysis. This reflection leads toward a view of psychiatric disorders – and future nosologies – as far more complex and uncertain than we have imagined. (shrink)
The mind-body problem lies at the heart of the clinical practice of both psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine. In their recent publication, Schwartz and Wiggins address the question of how to understand life as central to the mind-body problem. Drawing on their own use of the phenomenological method, we propose that the mind-body problem is not resolved by a general, evocative appeal to an all encompassing life-concept, but rather falters precisely at the insurmountable difference between.
Husserlian reduction is a rigorous method for describing the foundations of psychiatric experience. With Jaspers we consider three main principles inspired by phenomenological reduction: direct givenness, absence of presuppositions, re-presentation. But with Binswanger alone we refer to eidetic and transcendental reduction: to establish a critical epistemology; to directly investigate the constitutive processes of mental phenomena and their disturbances, freed from their nosological background; to question the constitution of our own experience when facing a person with mental illness. Regarding the last (...) item, we suggest a specific kind of reduction, typically intersubjective from the start, which we call the ‘looking-glass reduction'. The schizophrenic experience -- understood as a ‘loss of taken-for-grantedness’ implying the constitutions of the body, of the other, and of internal time -- is a real ‘epochal provocation’ for the psychiatrist. As the horizon it opens seems to be both corporeal and narrative, this ‘provoking’ of an epoche in the attitude of the psychiatrist himself and the resistances it implies raise important issues regarding the general constitution of human experience. (shrink)
This paper argues against the continued practice of Confucian familism, even in its moderate form, in East Asian hospitals. According to moderate familism, a physician acting in concert with the patient's family may withhold diagnostic information from the patient, and may give it to the patient's family members without her prior approval. There are two main approaches to defend moderate familism: one argues that it can uphold patient's autonomy and protect her best interests; the other appeals to cultural relativism by (...) construing the principle of ‘family autonomy’ to be incommensurable with that of individual autonomy. We respond to the first approach by explaining how the familist arguments either depend on some unreasonable assumptions or simply fail to articulate. The critique of the second approach is based on our recent survey showing that there is no dichotomy of relevant values between the East and the West: we believe that the result can effectively block the familist's reliance on certain traditional or cultural values to explain their resistance to the incorporation of pluralist values. Despite our disagreement with familism, we consider the Eastern emphasis on the family to be conducive to the communication between patient, family members and medical personnel, which is indispensible to the patient's well being and autonomy. We conclude that respect for patient autonomy is perfectly consistent with the involvement of the family in making medical decision as long as the family plays a merely consultant role. (shrink)
In face of the multiple controversies surrounding the DSM process in general and the development of DSM-5 in particular, we have organized a discussion around what we consider six essential questions in further work on the DSM. The six questions involve: 1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role (...) of pragmatic considerations in the construction of DSM-5; 5) the issue of utility of the DSM - whether DSM-III and IV have been designed more for clinicians or researchers, and how this conflict should be dealt with in the new manual; and 6) the possibility and advisability, given all the problems with DSM-III and IV, of designing a different diagnostic system. Part 1 of this article took up the first two questions. Part 2 took up the second two questions. Part 3 now deals with Questions 5 & 6. Question 5 confronts the issue of utility, whether the manual design of DSM-III and IV favors clinicians or researchers, and what that means for DSM-5. Our final question, Question 6, takes up a concluding issue, whether the acknowledged problems with the earlier DSMs warrants a significant overhaul of DSM-5 and future manuals. As in Parts 1 & 2 of this article, the general introduction, as well as the introductions and conclusions for the specific questions, are written by James Phillips, and the responses to commentaries are written by Allen Frances. (shrink)
This article by Louis Sass, Josef Parnas, and Dan Zahavi takes us into the midst of a debate over recent developments in phenomenological psychiatry. In "Phenomenological Psychopathology and Schizophrenia: Contemporary Approaches and Misunderstandings" (Sass et al. 2011), Sass et al. are responding to criticisms of their position lodged by Aaron L. Mishara in "Missing Links in Phenomenological Clinical Neuroscience: Why We Are Still Not There Yet" (Mishara 2007). In their reply, Sass et al. offer several helpful clarifications (...) and justifications of their position, a position they have advanced in numerous important articles and books in the past. We are grateful for these clarifications and additional .. (shrink)
Michael L. Morgan is Emeritus Chancellor Professor at Indiana University and the Grafstein Visiting Chair in Jewish Philosophy at the University of Toronto. He has written extensively on ancient Greek philosophy, modern Jewish philosophy, and post-Holocaust theology and ethics.
Empiricism in philosophy is either a method or a theory. The two are separable: one might hold that all knowledge is empirical but that philosophy does something other than add to our knowledge, e.g., that it clarifies concepts; or one might hold that philosophy’s method is empirical and that one of the things known in that way is that not all knowledge is empirical, e.g., mathematics. And what is the empirical? If it is knowledge based on observation, then what is (...) it that can be observed? If philosophy is in method empirical, the range of the observable must be broad, perhaps including mental processes, human history, social institutions such as language, and even the difference between good and evil.In Peirce’s... (shrink)
Most everything one might think about humor is in dispute. Only a few negative claims are fairly clear. Does humor always involve feelings of superiority? Probably not. But what properties do objects need in order to be amusing? Most plausibly, humorous objects present non-threatening incongruities. However, not all such incongruities are amusing. So there must be something more. -/- What is the connection between feelings of amusement and laughter? Amusement typically leads to laughter, but not always. And we often laugh (...) simply out of nervousness. Could someone feel intense amusement and not have the slightest urge to laugh? -/- Is amusement an emotion like fear, anger, or embarrassment? Pre-reflectively it seems so, but amusement is curiously different: it lacks concern, something we find in all other standard emotional responses. -/- Many think that we can rationally justify at least some emotional responses. It seems that anger, for instance, can be appropriate or inappropriate. Can the same be said of amusement? Some people do seem to laugh inappropriately, but it's hard to think that they have incorrectly evaluated something as humorous. (shrink)
Edited by Svetla S. Griffin and Ilaria L.E. Ramelli. Harvard University Press, Hellenic Studies 88, 2019, ca 600 pages. ISBN-10: 0674241320; ISBN-13: 978-0674241329. Contributors: Luc Brisson, Kevin Corrigan, John Dillon, Harold Tarrant, John Turner, John Finamore, Ilaria Ramelli, Karla Pollmann, Carlos Lévy, Lenka Karfíková, Pauliina Remes, Mark J. Edwards, Pier Franco Beatrice, Svetla Slaveva-Griffin, Aaron Johnson, Dimka Gocheva, Olivier Dufault, and Robert Hannah.
Launched in 1971, _Adolescent Psychiatry,_ in the words of founding coeditors Sherman C. Feinstein, Peter L. Giovacchinni, and Arthur A. Miller, promised "to explore adolescence as a process... to enter challenging and exciting areas that may have profound effects on our basic concepts." Further, they promised "a series that will provide a forum for the expression of ideas and problems that plague and excite so many of us working in this enigmatic but fascinating field." For over two decades, Adolescent Psychiatry (...) has fulfilled this promise. The repository of a wealth of original studies by preeminent clinicians, developmental researchers, and social scientists specializing in this stage of life, the series has become an essential resource for all mental health practitioners working with youth. With volume 22, the editorship of _Adolescent Psychiatry_ passes to Aaron E. Esman, a distinguished clinician and educator whose wide-ranging sensibilities gain expression in a collection rich in clinical, developmental, and scholarly insight. Encompassing developmental topics timely clinical issues, historical commentaries, and a special section on "ambient genocide and adolescence," volume 22 ably meets the needs of professional and scholarly readers interested in this vitally important stage of life. (shrink)
Oocyte donation raises conflicts of interest and commitment for physicians but little attention has been paid to how to reduce these conflicts in practice. Yet the growing popularity of assisted reproduction has increased the stakes of maintaining an adequate oocyte supply and minimizing conflicts. A growing body of professional guidelines, legal challenges to professional self-regulation, and empirical research on the practice of oocyte donation all call for renewed attention to the issue. As empirical findings better inform existing conflicts and their (...) potential harms, we can better attempt to reduce these conflicts. To that end, the article first describes the nature of conflicts in oocyte donation and relevant regulations and professional guidelines. We then describe studies on conflicts at four phases of oocyte donation: recruitment, screening, stimulation, and post-stimulation monitoring. Next we consider three models for conflict reduction in medicine generally: improved professional self-regulation, outright restriction like Stark anti-referral laws, or the use of conflict mediators, like in living organ donation. We ultimately conclude that improved professional self-regulation is a reasonable starting place for oocyte donation. (shrink)