This is the first textbook devoted to the philosophy of psychiatry, offering a thorough and accessible investigation of the conceptual and philosophical problems at the heart of psychiatry. While it applies some of the longstanding concerns of philosophy of science to the mental health professions, it also investigates philosophical problems and issues that have arisen more recently from the practice of psychiatry. Divided into two sections, the book’s 11 chapters cover philosophical issues in psychiatric practice and research—like the ontological status of mental illness, philosophical issues in diagnosis, and the relationship of mental illness and personal identity—as well as foundational problems in studying well known psychopathologies, like schizophrenia, delusional thinking, and depression. All chapters include initial overviews and concluding summaries and an annotated list of suggested readings. A glossary at the back of the book provides helpful definitions of key terms in both philosophy and psychiatry.
An innovative, well structured series, the Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy are designed for students who already have completed an introductory-level course in philosophy. Each book introduces a core general subject in contemporary philosophy and offers students an accessible but substantial transition from introductory to higher-level college work in that subject. The series is accessible to non-specialists and each book clearly motivates and expounds the problems and positions introduced. An orientating chapter briefly introduces its topic and reminds readers of any crucial material they need to have retained from a typical introductory course. Considerable attention is given to explaining central philosophical problems of a subject and the main competing solutions and arguments for those solutions. The primary aim is to educate students in the main problems, positions and arguments of contemporary philosophy rather than to convince students of a single position.