Long-standing theoretical education frameworks and methodologies have failed to provide space for the role mental health can play in mediating educational consequences. To illustrate the need for such space, Ebony McGee and David Stovall highlight the voices of black undergraduates they have served in the capacities of teacher, researcher, and mentor. Building from the theoretical contributions of intellectual giants like Frantz Fanon and W. E. B. Du Bois, the authors attempt to connect oppressive social systems to the psyche of (...) the oppressed in a way that is relevant to black students. McGee and Stovall pose a challenge to the current research trend of attributing the survival of black students at traditionally white institutions primarily to grit, perseverance, and mental toughness, noting that research on the aforementioned qualities often fails to properly acknowledge multiple forms of suffering. Utilizing the lens of Critical Race Theory, the authors also challenge the construct of grit to consider the extent to which the mental health concerns of black students go undetected. Although critical race theorists have unmasked and attacked the racial trauma experienced at all levels of the educational system, the connection of CRT to mental health and wellness research is in its embryonic stages. For these reasons, McGee and Stovall argue that CRT scholars need to incorporate praxis to address mental health and wellness in order to address a fuller spectrum of black students' racialized worlds. Ultimately, they seek interdisciplinary perspectives that can help identify and foster strategies to support black students in the project and process of healing from multiple forms of racialized trauma they experience within and beyond their educational encounters. (shrink)
This paper provides an overview of psychosocial and mental health theory and practice as it has emerged in contexts of war, post-war, and transitional situations. It identifies several models that have guided much of this work until now, critically examines their underlying assumptions, and posits a series of limitations inherent in the dominant paradigm of post-traumatic stress disorder, especially as applied in the aftermath of political violence. It argues that psychosocial work as part of reparations processes must be designed (...) and enacted within specific historical, cultural, sociopolitical contexts, with singular individuals and their particular communities. This perspective permits more effective ways of responding to and working within the diversity of challenges facing societies seeking to reconstruct in the wake of war and other forms of organized political violence. An alternative framework for this work is proposed, which must be articulated and shaped in practice by individuals, families, and groups in their neighborhoods, communities, and societies. Exhumations and reburials, in two distinct contexts, are examined as sites for psychosocial work within reparation processes. The paper concludes by describing ongoing questions that challenge psychosocial workers hoping to contribute to reparations work. (shrink)
This paper, the brain is defined as biological constructs, the soul is defined as propositions or narrative constructs. Advocates non-biological mental illness - such as depression and schizophrenia - not causal entity , just the thought of the group symptoms given name. The disease is suspected the source of beliefs, values and assumptions. This conclusion is, whether mild or severe, or so-called "clinical" mental illness, as long as the body on the non-biological, can be treated through a philosophy, (...) or even "cure." Many psychological treatment has been to "talk therapy" in the name of successful application of the philosophy. For clinical mental health care providers, philosophy of education will help to improve its treatment capacity. This essay offers a definition of brain as biological, and mind as a propositional or narrative construct. It is argued that non-biological mental illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia are not causal entities. They are simply the names given to symptom clusters. They originate in problematic beliefs, values, and assumptions. This leads to the conclusion that both mild and serious, or so-called 'clinical', mental illnesses can be treated and even 'cured' with philosophy as long as their ontology is non-biological. Much of psychotherapy already successfully applies philosophy under the term 'talk therapy.' An education in philosophy will help the therapeutic competence of clinical mental health care providers. (shrink)
This article reviews the development of a feminist analysis of female and male psychology from 1970 to 1990; the acceptance, rejection or indifference to feminist theory and practice by women in general and by female patients and mental health practitioners in specific. The article describes what feminist therapy ideally is and discusses the need for a Feminist Institute of Mental Health.
Questioning reality -- The hair of the dog -- Good/bad -- Resistance and the side effect -- Putting resistance on the couch -- Modern medicine : a health report -- Psychotherapeutic paradox -- Loops -- Dialectics -- Paradox within the home -- The staying-with-it principle -- Immunization and immunotherapy -- A little poison is good for you -- The strange obsession of Dr. Hahnemann -- From gods to genes -- RPM -- Such stuff as dreams -- The attack of the (...) evil things -- Becoming well. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 70 - 97 In 1946 Heidegger suffered a mental breakdown and received treatment by Dr. Viktor Emil Freiherr von Gebsattel. I explore the themes of health and help in Heidegger’s work before and after his treatment. I begin with Heidegger’s views on health while Rector in 1933–34 and his abandonment of these views by war’s end. A short while later, Heidegger’s breakdown occurs and the treatment under Gebsattel begins. Soon after his treatment, (...) Heidegger lauds what he terms a “broken-down” thinking, and I examine his contribution to a 1958 _Festschrift_ for Gebsattel to better articulate such a thinking. Lastly, I take up Heidegger’s remarks on the role of the medical profession in a technological age from a 1962 speech. In presenting this material, I hope to shed new light on a little known aspect of Heidegger’s career and biography and to situate philosophically his relationship with Dr. Gebsattel. (shrink)
There is mounting evidence that strong personal relationships and spiritual beliefs contribute to our well-being. In Divine Therapy, Janet Sayers employs a biographical approach to the lives and writings of a range of eminent psychotherapists and psychologists to illuminate the link between physical and mental well-being and the 'at-one-ness' provided by love, religious and mystical experiences.
Preface. Quest for reality -- The history that vanished -- From zero to infinity -- Nanocosm. Quantum revolution -- Subatomic world -- Quantum mysticism -- Secrets -- Macrocosm. Fabric of space-time -- Elegant universe -- Conscious universe -- Secrets -- Microcosm. Biocosm -- Circle of life -- Blueprint of life -- Secrets -- Reality. Self-aware universe -- Perception -- Karmic footprints -- Secrets.
Behind the phase of cognition analysed by Husserl, there is a phase of affection. In this phase, there are significant mental disorders occurring. Similar to the way in which the phase of cognition is divided into reference, meaning (referent), and representation of words (classification according to Husserl's theory of meaning), the phase of affection is also divided into reference, “meaning,” and figure as sphere of “meaning”. The situation as a reference can allow various predications to form different explanations, i.e. (...) different states of affairs. From the point of view of affection, this reference has another role. The affection of a situation obliges us to produce bodily “meanings,” which is a sign of health. Mental disorders can be described as some distortion in the phase of affection. Healing in this regard occurs through the restoration of creativity for “meanings” which assume the situation. (shrink)
The making and taking of psychotropic drugs, whether on medical prescription or as self-medication, whether marketed by pharmaceutical companies or clamoured for by an anxious population, has been an integral part of the twentieth century. In this modern era of speed, uncertainty, pleasure and anguish the boundaries between healing and enhancing the mind by chemical means have been redefined. Long before Prozac would become a household name for an ‘emotional aspirin’ did consumers embrace the idea and practice of taking (...) psychotropics not only to treat mental illness but also to make them feel better about living in a modern world. The Freudian promise that each individual can remake him- or herself in the pursuit of health and happiness was helpful in promoting and legitimizing the idea and practice of seeking wellness on prescription. We will argue that the modern consumer-driven political culture of medicine will continue to transverse the boundaries of therapy and enhancement of the mind into the largely unexplored territories of human cognition and behaviour. However exciting, this endeavour will come at the cost of further widening the problem of iatrogenic addiction in the age of happiness pills as ‘botox’ for the mind. (shrink)
The term “mental illness” implies that persons with such illnesses are more likely to be dangerous to themselves and/or others than are persons without such illnesses. This is the source of the psychiatrist’s traditional social obligation to control “harm to self and/or others,” that is, suicide and crime. The ethical dilemmas of psychiatry cannot be resolved as long as the contradictory functions of healing persons and protecting society are united in a single discipline.Life is full of dangers. Our (...) highly developed consciousness makes us, of all living forms in the universe, the most keenly aware of, and the most adept at protecting ourselves from, dangers. Magic and religion are mankind’s earliest warning systems. Science arrived on the scene only about 400 years ago, and scientific medicine only 200 years ago. Some time ago I suggested that “formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic”.1We flatter and deceive ourselves if we believe that we have outgrown the apotropaic use of language .Many people derive comfort from magical objects , and virtually everyone finds reassurance in magical words . The classic example of an apotropaic is the word “abracadabra,” which The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines as “a magical charm or incantation having the power to ward off disease or disaster”. In the ancient world, abracadabra was a magic word, the letters of which were arranged in an inverted pyramid and worn as an amulet around the neck to protect the wearer against disease or trouble. One fewer letter appeared in each line of the pyramid, until only the letter “a” remained to form the vertex of the triangle. As …. (shrink)
Systemic Constellation Work is a rapidly growing experiential healing process that is being embraced by a variety of helping professionals, both traditional and alternative, worldwide. This book explores the history, principles and methodology of this approach, and offers a detailed comparison with psychodrama - the original mind-body therapy - explaining how each method can enhance the other. Constellation work is based on the notion that people are connected by unseen energetic forces and suggests that the psychological, traumatic and survival (...) experiences of our ancestors are genetically passed forward to the next generation and may live within us. Using insightful case studies from a variety of client groups, this book shows how Systemic Constellation Work can expand the possibilities of psychodrama techniques, and can be successfully integrated with psychodramatic enactment, guided imagery, ritual, concretization and other methods of healing and personal growth. This book will be essential reading for students and practitioners of psychodrama and Constellation work, as well as counselors, mental health professionals, experiential therapists, creative and expressive arts therapists and alternative practitioners looking to widen their knowledge of mind-body therapies. (shrink)
_Art and Mourning_ explores the relationship between creativity and the work of self-mourning in the lives of 20th century artists and thinkers. The role of artistic and creative endeavours is well-known within psychoanalytic circles in helping to heal in the face of personal loss, trauma, and mourning. In this book, Esther Dreifuss-Kattan, a psychoanalyst, art therapist and artist - analyses the work of major modernist and contemporary artists and thinkers through a psychoanalytic lens. In coming to terms with their own (...) mortality, figures like Albert Einstein, Louise Bourgeois, Paul Klee, Eva Hesse and others were able to access previously unknown reserves of creative energy in their late works, as well as a new healing experience of time outside of the continuous temporality of everyday life. Dreifuss-Kattan explores what we can learn about using the creative process to face and work through traumatic and painful experiences of loss._Art and Mourning _will inspire psychoanalysts and psychotherapists to understand the power of artistic expression in transforming loss and traumas into perseverance, survival and gain. Art and Mourning offers a new perspective on trauma and will appeal to psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, psychologists, clinical social workers and mental health workers, as well as artists and art historians. (shrink)
This paper argues that psychoanalysis enables us to see mental disorder as rooted in emotional conflicts, particularly concerning aggression, to which our species has a natural liability. These can be traced in development, and seem rooted in both parent-offspring conflict and in-group cooperation for out-group conflict. In light of this we may hope that work in psychoanalysis and neuroscience will converge in indicating the most likely paths to a better neurobiological understanding of mental disorder.
The portrayal of psychiatry and of the activities of supernatural forces in indigenous films produced in West Africa was critically examined in this study. Most often the content of these films is centred on African culture, African mythical stories, or real life events. Over a three year period, 163 such films were studied. Twenty five of them contained scenes of psychiatric illness. In 24 of these, there were “cases of psychoses”; and the remaining one was that of “deliberate self harm” (...) via overdose with hypno-sedative drug. The causative factors of these “illnesses” were largely attributed to supernatural or preternatural forces. The effective treatment or “healing” of the illnesses was portrayed as arising mostly through magical means or traditional forms of care. In addition, sudden death from “spiritual attack” by these agents was shown in 35 of the films. Scenes of witches and occultists wreaking other forms of havoc on victims at night were shown in eight of the films. The implications of these films’ portrayals of psychiatry and supernatural forces for the public and for orthodox psychiatric practice in the region were highlighted. (shrink)
This is a comprehensive resource of original essays by leading thinkers exploring the newly emerging inter-disciplinary field of the philosophy of psychiatry. The contributors aim to define this exciting field and to highlight the philosophical assumptions and issues that underlie psychiatric theory and practice, the category of mental disorder, and rationales for its social, clinical and legal treatment. As a branch of medicine and a healing practice, psychiatry relies on presuppositions that are deeply and unavoidably philosophical. Conceptions of (...) rationality, personhood and autonomy frame our understanding and treatment of mental disorder. Philosophical questions of evidence, reality, truth, science, and values give meaning to each of the social institutions and practices concerned with mental health care. The psyche, the mind and its relation to the body, subjectivity and consciousness, personal identity and character, thought, will, memory, and emotions are equally the stuff of traditional philosophical inquiry and of the psychiatric enterprise. A new research field--the philosophy of psychiatry--began to form during the last two decades of the twentieth century. Prompted by a growing recognition that philosophical ideas underlie many aspects of clinical practice, psychiatric theorizing and research, mental health policy, and the economics and politics of mental health care, academic philosophers, practitioners, and philosophically trained psychiatrists have begun a series of vital, cross-disciplinary exchanges. This volume provides a sampling of the research yield of those exchanges. Leading thinkers in this area, including clinicians, philosophers, psychologists, and interdisciplinary teams, provide original discussions that are not only expository and critical, but also a reflection of their authors' distinctive and often powerful and imaginative viewpoints and theories. All the discussions break new theoretical ground. As befits such an interdisciplinary effort, they are methodologically eclectic, and varied and divergent in their assumptions and conclusions; together, they comprise a significant new exploration, definition, and mapping of the philosophical aspects of psychiatric theory and practice. (shrink)
In a dynamic world, mechanisms allowing prediction of future situations can provide a selective advantage. We suggest that memory systems differ in the degree of flexibility they offer for anticipatory behavior and put forward a corresponding taxonomy of prospection. The adaptive advantage of any memory system can only lie in what it contributes for future survival. The most flexible is episodic memory, which we suggest is part of a more general faculty of mental time travel that allows us not (...) only to go back in time, but also to foresee, plan, and shape virtually any specific future event. We review comparative studies and find that, in spite of increased research in the area, there is as yet no convincing evidence for mental time travel in nonhuman animals. We submit that mental time travel is not an encapsulated cognitive system, but instead comprises several subsidiary mechanisms. A theater metaphor serves as an analogy for the kind of mechanisms required for effective mental time travel. We propose that future research should consider these mechanisms in addition to direct evidence of future-directed action. We maintain that the emergence of mental time travel in evolution was a crucial step towards our current success. (shrink)
In this volume, leading philosophers of psychiatry examine psychiatric classification systems, including the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, asking whether current systems are sufficient for effective diagnosis, treatment, and research. Doing so, they take up the question of whether mental disorders are natural kinds, grounded in something in the outside world. Psychiatric categories based on natural kinds should group phenomena in such a way that they are subject to the same type of causal explanations and respond (...) similarly to the same type of causal interventions. When these categories do not evince such groupings, there is reason to revise existing classifications. The contributors all question current psychiatric classifications systems and the assumptions on which they are based. They differ, however, as to why and to what extent the categories are inadequate and how to address the problem. Topics discussed include taxometric methods for identifying natural kinds, the error and bias inherent in DSM categories, and the complexities involved in classifying such specific mental disorders as "oppositional defiance disorder" and pathological gambling. -/- Contributors George Graham, Nick Haslam, Allan Horwitz, Harold Kincaid, Dominic Murphy, Jeffrey Poland, Nancy Nyquist Potter, Don Ross, Dan Stein, Jacqueline Sullivan, Serife Tekin, Peter Zachar. (shrink)
My aim is twofold: first, to root out the metaphysical assumptions that generate the problem of mental causation and to show that they preclude its solution; second, to dissolve the problem of mental causation by motivating rejection of one of the metaphysical assumptions that give rise to it. There are three features of this metaphysical background picture that are important for our purposes. The first concerns the nature of reality: all reality depends on physical reality, where physical reality (...) consists of a network of events.1 The second concerns the nature of causation, and the third concerns the conception of behavior. I try to vindicate a robust idea of mental causation. (shrink)
Introduction -- A default position -- Experience -- The character of experience -- Understanding-experience -- A note about dispositional mental states -- Purely experiential content -- An account of four seconds of thought -- Questions -- The mental and the nonmental -- The mental and the publicly observable -- The mental and the behavioral -- Neobehaviorism and reductionism -- Naturalism in the philosophy of mind -- Conclusion: The three questions -- Agnostic materialism, part 1 -- Monism (...) -- The linguistic argument -- Materialism and monism -- A comment on reduction -- The impossibility of an objective phenomenology -- Asymmetry and reduction -- Equal-status monism -- Panpsychism -- The inescapability of metaphysics -- Agnostic materialism, part 2 -- Ignorance -- Sensory spaces -- Experience, explanation, and theoretical integration -- The hard part of the mind-body problem -- Neutral monism and agnostic monism -- A comment on eliminativism, instrumentalism, and so on -- Mentalism, idealism, and immaterialism -- Mentalism -- Strict or pure process idealism -- Active-principle idealism -- Stuff idealism -- Immaterialism -- The positions restated -- The dualist options -- Frege's thesis -- Objections to pure process idealism -- The problem of mental dispositions -- Mental -- Shared abilities -- The sorting ability -- The definition of mental being -- Mental phenomena -- The view that all mental phenomena are experiential phenomena -- Natural intentionality -- E/c intentionality -- The experienceless -- Intentionality and abstract and nonexistent objects -- Experience, purely experiential content, and n/c intentionality -- Concepts in nature -- Intentionality and experience -- Summary with problem -- Pain and pain -- The neo-behaviorist view -- A linguistic argument for the necessary connection between pain and behavior -- A challenge -- The Sirians -- N.N. Novel -- An objection to the Sirians -- The Betelgeuzians -- The point of the Sirians -- Functionalism, naturalism, and realism about pain -- Unpleasantness and qualitative character -- The weather watchers -- The rooting story -- What is it like to be a weather watcher? -- The aptitudes of mental states -- The argument from the conditions for possessing the concept of space -- The argument from the conditions for language ability -- The argument from the nature of desire -- Desire and affect -- The argument from the phenomenology of desire -- Behavior -- A hopeless definition -- Difficulties -- Other-observability -- Neo-behaviorism -- The concept of mind. (shrink)
Mental ownership concerns who experiences a mental state. According to David Rosenthal (2005: 342), the proper way to characterize mental ownership is: ‘being conscious of a state as present is being conscious of it as belonging to somebody. And being conscious of a state as belonging to somebody other than oneself would plainly not make it a conscious state’. In other words, if a mental state is consciously present to a subject in virtue of a higher-order (...) thought (HOT), then the HOT necessarily representsthe subject as the owner of the state. But, we contend, one of the lessons to be learned from pathological states like somatoparaphrenia is that conscious awareness of a mental state does not guarantee first-person ownership. That is to say, conscious presence does not imply mental ownership. (shrink)
What is the scope of our conscious mental agency, and how do we acquire self-knowledge of it? Both questions are addressed through an investigation of what best explains our inability to form judgemental thoughts in direct response to practical reasons. Contrary to what Williams and others have argued, it cannot be their subjection to a truth norm, given that our failure to adhere to such a norm need not undermine their status as judgemental. Instead, it is argued that we (...) cannot form judgements at will because we subjectively experience them as responses to epistemic reasons, and because this is incompatible with our experiential awareness of direct mental actions, such as instances of imagining. However, this latter awareness does not extend to indirect agency, which relies on epistemic or causal processes as means. Judging may therefore still count as an indirect action - just like, say, breaking a window by throwing a stone. (shrink)
In this chapter we examine the tendency to view future-oriented mental time travel as a unitary faculty that, despite task-driven surface variation, ultimately reduces to a common phenomenological state. We review evidence that FMTT is neither unitary nor beholden to episodic memory: Rather, it is varied both in its memorial underpinnings and experiential realization. We conclude that the phenomenological diversity characterizing FMTT is dependent not on the type of memory activated during task performance, but on the kind of subjective (...) temporality associated with the memory in play. (shrink)
Continuists maintain that, aside from their distinct temporal orientations, episodic memory and future-oriented mental time travel (FMTT) are qualitatively continuous. Discontinuists deny this, arguing that, in addition to their distinct temporal orientations, there are qualitative metaphysical or epistemological differences between episodic memory and FMTT. This chapter defends continuism by responding both to arguments for metaphysical discontinuism, based on alleged discontinuities between episodic memory and FMTT at the causal, intentional, and phenomenological levels, and to arguments for epistemological discontinuism, based on (...) alleged discontinuities with respect to the epistemic openness of the past and future, the directness or indirectness of our knowledge of past and future, and immunity to error through misidentification. The chapter concludes by sketching a positive argument for continuism. (shrink)
This introductory chapter reviews research on future-oriented mental time travel to date (the past), provides an overview of the contents of the book (the present), and enumerates some possible research directions suggested by the latter (the future).
In this Introduction, I situate the underlying project “Autonomy and Mental Disorder” with reference to current debates on autonomy in moral and political philosophy, and the philosophy of action. I then offer an overview of the individual contributions. More specifically, I begin by identifying three points of convergence in the debates at issue, stating that autonomy is: 1) a fundamentally liberal concept; 2) an agency concept and; 3) incompatible with (severe) mental disorder. Next, I explore, in the context (...) of decisional capacity assessments, the difficulties to reconcile 1) and 2) with 3) which they at the same time seem to imply. Having clarified the centrality of a cogent notion of mental disorder for addressing these difficulties, I comment on three promising lines of inquiry about the nature and scope of autonomy that emerge from the following chapters. (shrink)
My topic is a certain view about mental images: namely, the ‘Multiple Use Thesis’. On this view, at least some mental image-types, individuated in terms of the sum total of their representational content, are potentially multifunctional: a given mental image-type, individuated as indicated, can serve in a variety of imaginative-event-types. As such, the presence of an image is insufficient to individuate the content of those imagination-events in which it may feature. This picture is argued for, or (more (...) usually) just assumed to be true, by Christopher Peacocke, Michael Martin, Paul Noordhof, Bernard Williams, Alan White, and Tyler Burge. It is also presupposed by more recent authors on imagination such as Amy Kind, Peter Kung and Neil Van Leeuwen. I reject various arguments for the Multiple Use Thesis, and conclude that instead we should endorse SINGLE: a single image-type, individuated in terms of the sum total of its intrinsic representational content, can serve in only one imagination event-type, whose content coincides exactly with its own, and is wholly determined by it. Plausibility aside, the interest of this thesis is also in its iconoclasm, as well as the challenge it poses for the diverse theories that rest on the truth of the Multiple Use Thesis. (shrink)
In this paper, I discuss the question whether objective criteria could be provided for judging something to be a mental illness. I consider the two most prominent objectivist or naturalistic accounts of mental illness, evolutionary and bio-statistical account, which offer such a criterion by relying on the notion of biological function. According to such suggestions, illness is a condition in which there is dysfunciton in some feature of an organism. In this context, I consider different accounts for ascribing (...) functions in biologyand their relationship with the suggested accounts of illnesses. Special focus is placed on the objections according to which the ascription of functions, as envisaged in naturalistic accounts of illness, is incompatible with actual medical and psychiatric practice. I conclude that these objections are legitimate insofar we want to an account of illness that preserves the current practice of ascribing illness. However, the question remains, could a theory that tries to capture the actual medical practice be value-neutral, since our ordinary conception of illness is permeated with value judgments that indirectly enter into medical practice. In that respect, it seems that the requirement for pure objectivity is too strong and thus, it is not reasonable to expect that naturalistic accounts can satisfy it. (shrink)
‘It is of the very nature of consciousness to be intentional’ said Jean-Paul Sartre, ‘and a consciousness that ceases to be a consciousness of something would ipso facto cease to exist’.1 Sartre here endorses the central doctrine of Husserl’s phenomenology, itself inspired by a famous idea of Brentano’s: that intentionality, the mind’s ‘direction upon its objects’, is what is distinctive of mental phenomena. Brentano’s originality does not lie in pointing out the existence of intentionality, or in inventing the terminology, (...) which derives from scholastic discussions of concepts or intentiones.2 Rather, his originality consists in his claim that the concept of intentionality marks out the subject matter of psychology: the mental. His view was that intentionality ‘is characteristic exclusively of mental phenomena. No physical phenomenon manifests anything like it’.3 This is Brentano’s thesis that intentionality is the mark of the mental. Despite the centrality of the concept of intentionality in contemporary philosophy of mind, and despite the customary homage paid to Brentano as the one who revived the terminology and placed the concept at the centre of philosophy, Brentano’s thesis is widely rejected by contemporary philosophers of mind. What is more, its rejection is not something which is thought to require substantial philosophical argument. Rather, the falsity of the thesis is taken as a starting-point in many contemporary discussions of intentionality, something so obvious that it only needs to be stated to be recognised as true. Consider, for instance, these remarks from the opening pages of Searle’s Intentionality: Some, not all, mental states and events have Intentionality. Beliefs, fears, hopes and desires are Intentional; but there are forms of nervousness, elation and undirected anxiety that are not Intentional.... My beliefs and desires must always be about something. But my nervousness and undirected anxiety need not in that way be about anything.4 Searle takes this as obvious, so obvious that it is not in need of further argument or elucidation. (shrink)
This collection presents six case studies on the ethics of mental health research, written by scientific researchers and ethicists from around the world. We publish them here as a resource for teachers of research ethics and as a contribution to several ongoing ethical debates. Each consists of a description of a research study that was proposed or carried out and an in-depth analysis of the ethics of the study.
I. the view that reasons cannot be causes. II. the view that the explanatory relevance of psychological states such as beliefs and intentions derives from their content, their explanatory role is not causal and we thus have no good reason to ascribe causal power to them. III. the idea that if the mental supervenes on the physical, then what really explains our actions is the physical properties determining our propositional attitudes, and not those attitudes themselves. IV. the thesis that (...) since there are no laws linking (intentional) mental states to actions, those states cannot be genuine causes of action. (shrink)
Originally motivated by a sophism, Pardo's discussion about the unity of mental propositions allows him to elaborate on his ideas about the nature of propositions. His option for a non-composite character of mental propositions is grounded in an original view about syncategorems: propositions have a syncategorematic signification, which allows them to signify aliquid aliqualiter, just by virtue of the mental copula, without the need of any added categorematic element. Pardo's general claim about the simplicity of mental (...) propositions is developed into several specific thesis about mental propositions: a) it is not judgement which gives its unity to mental propositions, but judicative acts always follow some previous apprehensive act that is simple in its own right; b) this simplicity is compatible with a certain kind of complexity, that can be explained in terms of the "causal history" of the acts of knowing; c) traditional conceptions about subject and predicate must be recast, while keeping their usual explicative power concerning logical properties; d) of course, the traditional conception about the copula has been modified, giving rise to a fully innovative conception of the nature of mental propositions. Nevertheless, this innovative conception of mental language seems still infected by certain "common sense" prejudices, which lead Pardo to propose also a provocative conception of vocal language, which I consider unnecessary. (shrink)
Mental and behavioral disorders represent a signiﬁcant portion of the public health burden in all countries. The human cost of these disorders is immense, yet treatment options for sufferers are currently limited, with many patients failing to respond sufﬁciently to available interventions and drugs. High quality ontologies facilitate data aggregation and comparison across different disciplines, and may therefore speed up the translation of primary research into novel therapeutics. Realism-based ontologies describe entities in reality and the relationships between them in (...) such a way that – once formulated in a suitable formal language – the ontologies can be used for sophisticated automated reasoning applications. Reference ontologies can be applied across different contexts in which different, and often mutually incompatible, domain-speciﬁc vocabularies have traditionally been used. In this contribution we describe the Mental Functioning Ontology (MF) and Mental Disease Ontology (MD), two realism-based ontologies currently under development for the description of humanmental functioning and disease. We describe the structure and upper levels of the ontologies and preliminary application scenarios, and identify some open questions. (shrink)
In the philosophical literature on mental states, the paradigmatic examples of mental states are beliefs, desires, intentions, and phenomenal states such as being in pain. The corresponding list in the psychological literature on mental state attribution includes one further member: the state of knowledge. This article examines the reasons why developmental, comparative and social psychologists have classified knowledge as a mental state, while most recent philosophers--with the notable exception of Timothy Williamson-- have not. The disagreement is (...) traced back to a difference in how each side understands the relationship between the concepts of knowledge and belief, concepts which are understood in both disciplines to be closely linked. Psychologists and philosophers other than Williamson have generally have disagreed about which of the pair is prior and which is derivative. The rival claims of priority are examined both in the light of philosophical arguments by Williamson and others, and in the light of empirical work on mental state attribution. (shrink)
Factive mental states, such as knowing or being aware, can only link an agent to the truth; by contrast, nonfactive states, such as believing or thinking, can link an agent to either truths or falsehoods. Researchers of mental state attribution often draw a sharp line between the capacity to attribute accurate states of mind and the capacity to attribute inaccurate or “reality-incongruent” states of mind, such as false belief. This article argues that the contrast that really matters for (...)mental state attribution does not divide accurate from inaccurate states, but factive from nonfactive ones. (shrink)
I argue that there is a distinction to be drawn between two kinds of mental realism, and I draw some lessons for the realism-antirealism debate. Although it is already at hand, the distinction has not yet been drawn clearly. The difference to be shown consists in what realism is about: it may be either about the interpretation of folk psychology, or the ontology of mental entities. I specify the commitment to the fact-stating character of the discourse as the (...) central component of realism about folk psychology, and from this I separate realism about mental entities as an ontological commitment towards them. I point out that the two views are mutually independent, which provides the possibility of considering folk psychology as not being in cognitive competition with scientific psychology. At the end I make a tentative suggestion as to how to interpret the former in order to avoid this conflict. (shrink)
What might a theory of mental imagery look like, and how might one begin formulating such a theory? These are the central questions addressed in the present paper. The first section outlines the general research direction taken here and provides an overview of the empirical foundations of our theory of image representation and processing. Four issues are considered in succession, and the relevant results of experiments are presented and discussed. The second section begins with a discussion of the proper (...) form for a cognitive theory, and the distinction between a theory and a model is developed. Following this, the present theory and computer simulation model are introduced. This theory specifies the nature of the internal representations (data structures) and the processes that operate on them when one generates, inspects, or transforms mental images. In the third, concluding, section we consider three very different kinds of objections to the present research program, one hinging on the possibility of experimental artifacts in the data, and the others turning on metatheoretical commitments about the form of a cognitive theory. Finally, we discuss how one ought best to evaluate theories and models of the sort developed here. (shrink)
The problem of amodal perception is the problem of how we represent features of perceived objects that are occluded or otherwise hidden from us. Bence Nanay (2010) has recently proposed that we amodally perceive an object's occluded features by imaginatively projecting them into the relevant regions of visual egocentric space. In this paper, I argue that amodal perception is not a single, unitary capacity. Drawing appropriate distinctions reveals amodal perception to be characterized not only by mental imagery, as Nanay (...) suggests, but also by genuinely visual representations as well as beliefs. I conclude with some brief remarks on the role of object-directed bodily action in conferring a sense of unseen presence on an object's occluded features. (shrink)