USS-SWC univie: summer school - Scientific World Conceptions

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Philosophy and Psychiaty

By its very nature, psychiatry - the medical specialism devoted to mental healthcare - raises as many conceptual as empirical questions. The philosophy of psychiatry is a rapidly emerging field which draws broadly on philosophical traditions - centrally analytic philosophy and phenomenology - to address a range of questions as broad as the demands made on psychiatry to address problems of human suffering, distress and disorder. It is also an area where philosophical methods, accounts and theories can be applied to and thus tested against psychiatric and psychopathological phenomena. But at its heart lies the question of whether, since psychiatry sees itself as part of medicine, the medical conceptualisation of illness and disease can be articulated in such a way that it properly applies to the distinct 'problems of living' that psychiatry addresses in response to the crisis of legitimacy often raised. This summer school will address a number of key questions which impact on mental health care.

Topics will include:

  • the concept of mental disorder
  • psychiatric classification
  • the role of values in psychiatry
  • the roles of explanation and understanding, including idiographic and narrative understanding in psychiatry
  • delusions
  • culture bound syndromes
  • social epistemology
  • recovery







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