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Given the interdisciplinary nature of the module, you are encouraged to come up with your own essay topics, in consultation with me. Some past and current topics are listed lower down this page, along with a set essay question and reading. Please make sure you have agreed your essay question with me before starting to work on it. You will probably want to think of a topic around Reading week if you haven't before that. See main page for essay and journal deadlines. A copy of the marking scale is available here. Essays must be submitted electronically by the deadline. The link for handing in essays is:
Reflective Journals
Part of the assessment consists of a Reflective Journal. You are strongly advised to keep notes for this after each session. Further guidance on completing your Journal is contained in this word document:
Reflective Journals must be handed in by the deadline to the IATL office (Senate House, near the Arts Centre - map)


Week One (Tuesday 6th January 2015)
No preliminary reading. Here are my slides and handout.
Week Two (Tuesday 13th January 2015)
Claire's slides.
Core reading: Colin Jones, 'Raising the Anti: Jan Foudraine, Ronald Laing and Anti-Psychiatry', in Marijke Gijswijt-Hofstra and Roy Porter (eds.) Cultures of Psychiatry and Mental Health Care in Postwar Britain and the Netherlands (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1998) pp. 283-294
Introductory overview: Roy Porter, 'Two Cheers for Psychiatry!', in Hugh Freeman and German Berrios (eds.) 150 Years of British Psychiatry Volume II: the Aftermath (London: Athlone, 1996) pp. 383-406
Digby Tantam, 'The Anti-Psychiatry Movement', in Hugh Freeman and German Berrios (eds.) 150 Years of British Psychiatry, 1841-1991 (London: Gaskell, 1991) pp. 333-347
Week Three (Tuesday 20th January 2015)
Angela's slides.
Week Four (Tuesday 27th January)
Background reading on the mind-body problem from the point of view of a psychiatrist:
Kenneth Kendler (2001) A Psychiatric Dialogue on the Mind-Body Problem. American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 158 No. 7 pp. 989-1000
Tim Crane (2011) The Problem of Perception. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Murray et al. Eds. (2008) Essential Psychiatry entry on delusions pp. 19-21 and pp. 26-27
John Campbell (2001) Rationality, Meaning and the Analysis of Delusion. Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology, Vol. 8 No. 2/3 pp. 89-100
Week Five (Tuesday 3rd February)
Anne-Marie's slides.
Week Seven (Tuesday 17th February)
Matthew's slides.
German Berrios (1992) Phenomenology, psychopathology and Jaspers: a conceptual history. History of Psychiatry 3, pp. 303-327.
Robin Murrray et al. Eds. (2008) Essential Psychiatry, chapter one.
Matthew Ratcliffe and Matthew Broome (2012) Existential Phenomenology, Psychiatric Illness and the Death of Possibilities. A pre-print version of chapter 17 in the Cambridge Companion to Existentialism, Ed. Steven Crowell.
Week Eight (Tuesday 24th February)
Dawn's slides.
Krishnan and Nestler (2008) article in Nature on the neurobiology of depression. The article is quite technical, so for non-scientists (like me), I've summarised the key points in a RTF document.
Week Nine (Tuesday 3rd March)
Tom's slides.
Very basic and readable APA booklet on different uses of fMRI scanning (doesn't explain how fMRI works).
Technical introduction to how fMRI scanning actually works.
Week Ten (Tuesday 10th March)
No preliminary reading.
My slides and handouts one, two, three and four.

Additional Resources

Useful Books Available from the Library
Anne Rogers and David Pilgrim (2010) A Sociology of Mental Health and Illness. Print and e-book.
Tim Thornton (2007) Essential Philosophy of Psychiatry. Print book.
George Graham (2010) The Disordered Mind: an introduction to philosophy of mind and mental illness. E-book.
Roy Porter (1990) Mind-Forg'd Manacles: a History of Madness in England from the Restoration to the Regency. Print and e-book.
General material:
Jonathan Miller's 1991 5-part series Madness, which looks at the history of mental illness (YouTube).
2013 Guardian article reporting the opposition of the British Psychological Society's clinical division to psychiatric diagnosis and the biomedical model of mental ill-health.
An article by Ethan Watters in the New York Times (2010) on the Americanization of mental illness.
Eleanor Longden's TED profile and talk on hearing voices.
Psychologist and author Kay Redfield Jamison talks about her experience of Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression) on YouTube.
Fascinating, gruesome and tragic descriptions of Walter Freeman's 'icepick' lobotomy method and its results on the NPR website, and in the Guardian.
Excellent short TED presentation by neuroscientist Molly Crockett on 'neuro-bunk' - the misuse of neuroscience for making money out of you.
On Schizophrenia:
Berrios et al. (2003) Schizophrenia: A Conceptual History. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 111-140
The philosopher John Campbell on Philosophy Bites (audio discussion) on Schizophrenia.
Online version of Mary Boyle (clinical psychologist) article on Schizophrenia.
On Personality Disorder(s)
Short PPP article from 2011 Vol. 18 No. 3 by the philosopher and therapist Hanna Pickard explaining What Personality Disorder is. A longer article (same author, same issue of PPP) on the topic of Personality Disorder and Blame.
1993 German Berrios article on the European history of PD in Comprehensive Psychiatry Vol. 34 No. 1, pp. 14-30
BMJ editorial from January 1999 following the Fallon Inquiry into mismanagement of the Personality Disorder Unit at Ashworth Special Hospital. Guardian and Independent articles from the time that give some background to the event.
2003 BJ Psych Advances article looking at various aspects of PD, including the controversial 'DSPD'.
2009 Independent article on the DSPD unit at Broadmoor.
Some areas that essay questions have fallen under (from this and previous years):
- The history and validity of schizophrenia as a diagnosis.
- The objectivity of mental disorders: are they value-free?
- Different aspects of personality disorders.
- Employment and mental health.
- Psychotherapy and psychiatric medication.
- Possible uses of philosophical phenomenology in understanding aspects of mental ill-health.
- Attachment theory.
- The relationship between beliefs and delusions.
Set Essay Question:
'Psychopathological conditions (e.g. schizophrenia) are value-free categories': what does this mean, and what are the implications of agreeing and disagreeing? Argue for your own conclusion with reference to relevant literature.
Recommended reading:
Robert Kendell (1975) The Concept of Disease and its Implications for Psychiatry. Topic: Mental illnesses have a biological basis (reduce reproduction and increase mortality).*
Christopher Boorse (1975) On the Distinction between Illness and Disease. Topic: Boorse argues against normative views of disease, and for a descriptive (i.e. naturalistic/biological) definition of health/disease. He also (as the title suggests) argues for a distinction between disease and illness (e.g. 'mental illness').*
Christopher Boorse (1976) What a Theory of Mental Health Should Be. Topic: In response to critics of psychiatry like Szasz, Boorse argues that psychiatrists should 'take physiology as a paradigm'. The only other option, according to him, is to agree with Szasz that the 'model of health and disease' must be abandoned.
Jerome Wakefield (1992) The Concept of Mental Disorder. Topic: A hybrid conception (natural and normative) of mental disorder.
Rachel Cooper (2002) Disease. Topic: What is it for something to be a disease? Partly a response to Boorse.
Rachel Cooper (2007) Chapter 3 from her book Psychiatry and Philosophy of Science. Topic: What is the distinction between mental and physical disorders?
*: Both the asterisked articles contain some unfortunate turns of phrase.