Phenomenology

Download Body-Subjects and Disordered Minds: Treating the 'Whole' by Eric Matthews PDF

By Eric Matthews

How may still we care for psychological illness - as an "illness" like diabetes or bronchitis, as a "problem in living", or what? This booklet seeks to reply to such questions by means of going to their roots, in philosophical questions about the character of the human brain, the ways that it may be understood, and concerning the nature and goals of medical medicine.

The controversy over the character of psychological illness and the appropriateness of the "medical model" is not only an summary theoretical debate: it has a touching on very useful problems with acceptable remedy, in addition to on psychiatric ethics and legislation. a huge competition of this publication is that those questions are eventually philosophical in personality: they are often resolved provided that we abandon a few common philosophical assumptions in regards to the "mind" and the "body", and approximately what it potential for medication to be "scientific".

The "phenomenological" strategy of the twentieth-century French thinker, Maurice Merleau-Ponty is used to question those assumptions. His notion of humans as "body-subjects" is argued to supply a extra illuminating state of mind approximately psychological ailment and the ways that it may be understood and handled. The stipulations we conventionally name "mental disorders" are, it truly is argued, no longer a homogeneous workforce: the traditional interpretation of the clinical version matches a few extra quite simply than others. The center psychological problems, even though, are top considered as disturbed methods of being on the earth, which reason sadness as a result of deviation from "human" instead of straightforwardly "biological" norms. that's, they're difficulties in how we adventure the area and particularly folks, instead of in physiological functioning - although the character of our event can't finally be separated from the ways that bodies functionality. This research is utilized in the e-book either to concerns in scientific therapy and to the distinctive moral and felony questions of psychiatry.

Written through a well-known thinker in an available and transparent sort, this booklet might be of curiosity to a variety of readers, from psychiatrists to social employees, legal professionals, ethicists, philosophers and someone with an curiosity in psychological well-being.

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Extra resources for Body-Subjects and Disordered Minds: Treating the 'Whole' Person in Psychiatry (International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry)

Sample text

He is, in effect, offering a stipulative definition of disease and illness which is supposed to be more suited for use in an advanced scientific medicine. Ordinary usage is too loose, in his opinion, for these purposes. This methodological assumption has already been questioned earlier in the chapter, but for present purposes perhaps it should simply be accepted: the argument can then concern itself with whether Boorse’s redefined concepts are internally coherent and usable. FULFORD AND THE AGENCY MODEL Boorse’s main reason for distinguishing between disease and illness, and for claiming that disease is the primary concept from the point of view of a scientific medicine, is, as said earlier, that disease can be defined objectively, which he takes to be equivalent to ‘in a value-free way’.

It can only be right for psychiatry to model itself on bodily medicine if its concepts are derivative from those of 25 26 ILLNESS AND DISEASE the latter, but the concepts of psychiatry are derivative from those of bodily medicine only if it is right for the former to model itself on the latter. Having made the twin assumptions that the technical use of terms like ‘health’ or ‘illness’ is superior material for analysis than their use in more popular contexts, and that the historical priority of physiological medicine over psychological implies the logical priority of the former’s concepts, it is relatively easy for Boorse to draw sceptical conclusions, similar to, though not as exaggerated as, Szasz’s, about the idea of mental illness.

Health is good, apart from anything else, because it is a necessary condition for being able to pursue many other goods: unless we are healthy, we cannot pursue many activities which we may want to pursue; our enjoyment of food and drink and other pleasures will be restricted; and so on. Terms like healthy, ill, sick, well and so on are, therefore, used in evaluative contexts. Fulford (1989: 58) proposes it as an ‘assumption’ that ‘the central use of “illness” … is to express a (negative) value-judgement’ – an assumption which he then seeks to justify.

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