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Philosophy of Psychiatry Syllabus  

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Phil 575 (Philosophy of Mind), Spring 1997. Christian Perring
The Philosophy of Psychiatry: Mind, Science, and Medicine
TR 11.00-12.15 CP 367
Office: 1601 P.O.T. Ph: 7-7171 Office Hours: 3.30-4.30 p.m.
E-mail: cperring@ukcc.uky.edu 

Course Description

Psychiatry and clinical psychology occupy a unique place in modern society.  The general public regards this knowledge with great suspicion and even hostility, and this suspicion also exists within the medical establishment.  Psychiatry itself is full of self-doubt and questioning.  At the same time psychiatry has been accused by some radical political thinkers of being a major contributor to the oppression of women, and serving the demands of capitalism, through the establishment of standards of "normality," and providing the state a means to lock up or drug potential dissenters.  This course will examine issues in the increasingly autonomous field of the philosophy of psychiatry.  The central question underlying the course is whether psychiatry can, at least in principle if not in practice, escape the accusations that have been made against it.  This field includes areas inside and outside of philosophy.  It will include philosophical issues in metaphysics, epistemology, medicine, science, ethics, and political theory.  Many of the issues will turn out to depend on the relationship between different sciences, and specifically how much reductionism and individualism should be used in psychiatry, so we will include a fair amount of philosophy of social science.  We will start by looking at the different possible kinds of fragmentation of mind, and what we mean by the unity of mind.  This will include careful consideration of dissociation, multiple personality, and schizophrenia.  We will move onto the contrast between reductionist approaches to mental illness, which finds its paradigm in the view that mental illness is simply a disease of the brain, and less reductionist approaches, which put more emphasis on the whole person and his or her place in society.  Here the pressing question is how it might be possible to integrate our understanding of the brain into a less reductionist approach.  The final section of the course deals with the normativity of psychiatry: to what extent does ideology and value judgment enter into psychiatric practice and diagnostic categories.  How should the criteria for particular illnesses, such as addictions, depression, eating disorders, and attention deficit disorder, be decided?


Reading

Most of the work we will read is contemporary.  The course does not require any particular knowledge of psychiatry, although students will be encouraged to read personal accounts of mental illness and psychiatric textbooks, as well as more well known theories of mental illness.  The philosophical writing is mostly by philosophers of mind, philosophers of science, and social critics.  While the list of readings for the syllabus may seem daunting, part of the task for students will be to divide the labor of reading by summarizing books and articles for each other, in class presentations

Listerv discussion list:  All class members should get an e-mail account and join the local internet discussion group PHI575.  You do this, once you have an e-mail account, by sending e-mail to LISTSERV@LSV.UKY.EDU, with SUBSCRIBE PHI575 <your name> in the body of the message.  This will provide a forum for students to continue discussion outside of class.  It will also provide a convenient way for me to send out information to the class.


Work

Students will do a presentation to the class each week, probably in groups of two or three depending on the number of people enrolled, summarizing some of the readings and offering perspectives for discussion. (15%)  You should sign-up for presentations in the first two weeks of the semester.  Once you are signed up, you should collaborate with any others who are doing the same presentation.  You should let me know as soon as you can if you will not be able to do your presenation, for whatever reason. There will be two papers, one 5-8 page (25%), and one 8-12 page (40%), in which students will be expected to set out and carefully argue for their own ideas, using some of their own independent research.  Lexington is an interesting place to cover some of these issues, since it has in the past been a national center for the treatment of both multiple personality disorder and addiction, and you should be able to take advantage of this in your research.  Class and listserv discussion group participation count for 20% of your grade.

Attendance: You are required to come to all classes, and you will lose 1% of your grade for each class you miss (after the first two) without reasonable excuse.


Schedule (subject to revision)

Thur Jan. 16 Introduction and Course Overview
Tues 21 What is Psychiatry?  How does it relate to theoretical psychology and clinical medicine?  David Ingleby, "Understanding 'Mental Illness'"
Thur 23 No Class
Tues 28 The study of psychopathology as a guide to the nature of mind: George Graham and Lynn Stephens, "Mind and Mine", John Heil, "Going to Pieces" in PP
Thur 30 Freud and neurosis: universal psychopathology: Sigmund Freud: An Outline of Psycho-Analysis (Especially Parts I & III)
Tues Feb. 4 Multiple personality and fragmentation: the interpretation of narrative and observation: Owen Flanagan, "Multiple Identity, Character Transformations, and Self-Reclamation" in PP
Thur 6 Ian Hacking: Rewriting the Soul: Multiple Personality and the Sciences of Memory (Especially Chapters 1-8)
Tues 11 James Glass: Shattered Selves: Multiple Personality in a Postmodern World (Esp. Chapters 2 & 5)
Thur 13 Jennifer Radden: Divided Minds and Successive Selves Parts 1,3 and 4.
Tues 18 Radden continued
Thur 20 How are we to understand the relation between understanding the brain and understanding people?: Kenneth Schaffner, "Psychiatry and Molecular Biology: Reductionist Approaches to Schizophrenia" in PPPC
Tue 25 Aviel Goodman, "Pragmatic and Assessment and Multitheoretical Classification: Addictive Disorder as a Case Example" in PPPC
Thur 27 Adolf Meyer, "The Concept of Wholes"
Tues March 4 Emile Durkheim: "Social Facts"; First papers due in class
Thur 6 Can psychiatry use a unified science of the mind, and should it attempt to do so?: Jerry Fodor: "Special Sciences: (or The Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis)"
Tues 11 Patricia Kitcher: Freud's Dream: A Complete Inderdisciplinary Science of Mind (Especially Chapters 1, 2, 3 & 7)
Thur 13 Kitcher continued
17 - 21 Spring Break
Tues 25 The value-ladenness of psychiatry: Denise Russell: Women, Madness and Medicine
Thur 27 Naomi Weisstein: "Psychology Constructs the Female"
Tues April 1 Alison Wylie: "Reasoning About Ourselves: Feminist Methodology in the Social Sciences"
Thur 3 Ernest Nagel: "The Value-Oriented Bias of Social Inquiry"
Tues 8 Max Weber: "'Objectivity' in Social Science and Social Policy"
Thur 10 The definition of illness: Susan Sherwin: "Ascriptions of Illness"
Tues 15 Janet A Tighe: "The Legal Art of Psychiatric Diagnosis: Searching for Reliability"
Thur 17 Peter Conrad: "On the Medicalization of Deviance and Social Control"
Tues 22 Susan Bordo: "Whose Body Is This?: Feminism, Medicine, and the Conceptualization of Eating Disorders"
Thur 24 George Agich, "Evaluative Judgment and Personality Disorder" in PPPC
Tues 29 Holding the mentally ill responsible for their actions: competence and guilt: Carl Elliott: The Rules of Insanity: Moral Responsibility and the Mentally Ill Offender
Thur May 1 Jennifer Radden: Divided Minds and Successive Selves Part 2
Mon 5 Final papers due in my office at noon.

All readings and other books are available on Reserve at M. L. King Library. You can also photocopy the articles at JohnnyPrint on South Limestone St.

Course Books Available at UK Bookstore and Kennedys
Carl Elliott: The Rules of Insanity: Moral Responsibility and the Mentally Ill Offender (SUNY, 1996) (Required)
George Graham and Lynn Stephens: Philosophical Psychopathology (MIT, 1994) [PP] (Required)
Jennifer Radden: Divided Minds and Successive Selves: An Essay on Metaphysics of Psychopathology (MIT, 1996) (Required)
Philosophical Perspectives on Psychiatric Classification edited by John Sander et al. (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994) [PPPC] (Optional)

Other Books on Syllabus:
Sigmund Freud: An Outline of Psycho-Analysis (Revised Edition) (W. W. Norton, 1949)
James Glass: Shattered Selves: Multiple Personality in a Postmodern World (Cornell, 1994)
Ian Hacking: Rewriting the Soul: Multiple Personality and the Sciences of Memory (Princeton, 1995)
Patricia Kitcher: Freud's Dream: A Complete Inderdisciplinary Science of Mind (MIT, 1992)
Laurie Reznek The Philosophical Defense of Psychiatry, (Routledge, 1991)
Denise Russell: Women, Madness and Medicine (Polity Press, 1995)

Articles:
Emile Durkheim: "Social Facts"; Jerry Fodor: "Special Sciences: (or The Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis)"; Ernest Nagel: "The Value-Oriented Bias of Social Inquiry"; Max Weber: "'Objectivity' in Social Science and Social Policy"; Naomi Weisstein: "Psychology Constructs the Female"; Alison Wylie: "Reasoning About Ourselves: Feminist Methodology in the Social Sciences": (all in Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science, MIT, 1994)
Susan Bordo: "Whose Body Is This?: Feminism, Medicine, and the Conceptualization of Eating Disorders" in Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body (California, 1993)
Peter Conrad: "On the Medicalization of Deviance and Social Control" in Critical Psychiatry: the Politics of Mental Health edited by David Ingleby (Pantheon, 1980)
Adolf Meyer: "The Concept of Wholes" in The Commonsense Psychiatry of Dr. Adolf Meyer (McGraw-Hill, 1948)
Susan Sherwin: "Ascriptions of Illness" from No Longer Patient (Temple, 1992)
Janet A Tighe: "The Legal Art of Psychiatric Diagnosis: Searching for Reliability" from Framing Disease: Studies in Cultural History (edited by Charles E. Rosenberg and Janet Golden) (Rutgers, 1992)