Philosophy of mental disorder
This module provides you with the opportunity to explore a number of contemporary debates in the philosophy of mental disorder. Topics will vary from year to year, and has included explorations of the following:
- What is mental disorder?
- What is the relationship between evolutionary dysfunction and disorder?
- Are disorders necessarily harmful?
- Antipsychiatry/ postpsychiatry - Are mental disorders substantially like physical disorders? Or, do diagnoses of "mental disorder" simply label behaviour that is unusual, socially stigmatised, or bad?
- Classification - Are mental disorders "natural kinds"? To what extent are values involved in the construction of psychiatric classifications?
- Conceptualising cultural variations - Do mental disorders vary from culture to culture? Would cultural variation mean that a disorder is less "real"?
- Realism and constructionism about mental disorder - What does it mean to say that a disorder is real or constructed?
- Meaning and the limits of reduction - Can symptoms be reduced to faulty brain states? Or, do symptoms such as "delusion" resist reduction?
- Responsibility and disorder - Are those with mental disorders responsible for their actions? Are psychopaths ill or simply evil?
- Identity and mental disorder - Can a disorder be central to someone's identity?
- Values in psychiatric reseach - In what ways is research in psychiatry value-laden? What are the advantages of user-led research?