Staff Research Interests

Our staff have a wide range of research interests across politics, international relations, philosophy and religion.

Sarah's principal research interests regard the ethical, social, and legal implications of emerging and hypothetical biotechnologies and interventions.

She is also interested in ethical issues raised by pronatalism, the implications of ectogenesis, and of the use of in vitro gametogenesis for reproductive purposes in socially infertile persons (as well as how the intervention would change assisted reproduction in a broader sense).

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I am interested in the self; in good and bad lives it might lead; in its reflexive powers and practices; in the roles of experience, reflection, and institutions in its development and success; and in how to do philosophy so as to advance our understanding of these issues.

These interests have lead me to think, write, and teach about capitalism and anarchism; utopias, dialogues, and autobiographies; well-being, pleasure, and self-realization; self-knowledge, self-interpretation, and self-command; the lives and experiences of monks, soldiers, hermits, and solo travellers; and the transformative effects of work and war.

I am currently writing a book about autobiography, narrative, self-knowledge, and self-realization, under the working title Good Lives.

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My major research interests lie within the philosophy of science and medicine, especially philosophy of psychiatry. My research focuses on conceptual problems around psychiatric classification, and on understanding concepts of disorder and health. My most recent book, Diagnosing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Karnac, 2014), has just been published, and examine issues with the DSM-5, the latest edition of the classification of mental disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association. My earlier monograph Classifying Madness (Springer, 2005) also concerns philosophical problems with psychiatric classification. I am also very interested in problems having to do with the concept of disorder. I am trying to work out what makes a condition count as a disorder, as opposed to a moral failing, or normal variation. I have written widely on this problem, and hope to finish off a book on the issue in the next couple of years. My other major publications include Psychiatry and the Philosophy of Science (2007, Acumen) which examines the ways in which psychiatric science is like and unlike more established sciences.

View Rachel's profile