Royal Institute of Philosophy Public Lecture

Thursday 8 June 2023, 6:00pm to 7:00pm


The Storey Institute, Lecture Theatre, Lancaster, United Kingdom, LA1 5AG

Open to

All Lancaster University (non-partner) students, Alumni, Applicants, External Organisations, Families and young people, Postgraduates, Prospective International Students, Prospective Postgraduate Students, Prospective Undergraduate Students, Public, Staff, Undergraduates


Registration not required - just turn up

Event Details

Thursday 8th June 2023, 6-7pm Lecture Theatre, Storey Institute, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster (town centre, approx. 5 mins from train station) Free and all welcome. No tickets, just turn up.

On the consolation of philosophy of mental illness

Prof Tim Thornton (Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Mental Health, UCLan)

The philosophy of psychiatry has become a small but established sub-discipline of analytic, Anglo-American philosophy since about 1994. It has some well established constituting questions or problems to which academic philosophers attend. But mental illness and mental healthcare also raise practical issues addressed by clinicians across a range of disciplines and also by service users. The idea of expertise by experience has become a useful way to balance some of the power imbalances in thinking through the both the more theoretical and practical issues in healthcare.

In this philosophically informed but informal talk, I will discuss both the promise, but also the challenges, of using philosophy to make sense of my experience of both insight and its lack into my own emotional dysregulation. Even this quotidian condition raises puzzles for understanding a first person perspective which, in turn, suggest some of the challenges of the very idea of expertise by experience in the field of mental illness.

Contact Details

Name Rachel Cooper