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Case Studies in Philosophy and Mental Health


Bill Fulford

4,000 word essay




This module aims to explore the philosophical-history and origins of ideas such as health-illness/psychosis-neurosis/causes-meanings/natural science-human science/fact-value.

The module consists of five distinct units:

  • Unit 1:
    • Neo-Kantian problematic
    • Jaspers and psychopathology
    • Causal explanation, meaningful understanding
    • Other connected dualisms: fact/value (description/evaluation), causes/reasons
    • Can we think of a psychopathology that was not determined by these categories?
    • Can we separate questions of mental health from questions of (legal) responsibility
  • Unit 2:
    • Alternative histories - What would happen if we started somewhere else, with someone else?
    • What would (e.g.) a Spinozistic psychopathology look like? What do we lose by abandoning the Kantian framework? What do we gain?
  • Unit 3: (Bill Fulford)
    • Case Studies – Identifying Psychosis
    • Delusion, Psychosis, Capacity Psychosis
  • Unit 4: Hacking
    • Case Studies – Mad travelers: reflections on the reality of transient mental illnesses
    • Historical reflections on ‘reality’
    • Questioning questions: is ‘is it real?’ a good question? And if not, why not?
    • Understanding the psychiatric-ecosystem: why do certain diagnoses flourish and die?
  • Unit 5:
    • Spiritual Experience and Psychopathology
    • Whose values? Which facts?
    • Tying it all together
    • Why can’t we stop asking is it real? Should we?
    • The relationship between theory and practice – how do we use case studies in philosophy?

    More Aims and Learning outcomes

Next Course
  • Mon 19 Mar '18
    19/03 - 23/03: Sociology of Health, Health Policy and the Social Determinants of Health
    Wed 21 Mar '18
    Critical Care Transfer (Day 5)
    Wed 04 Apr '18
    Critical Care Transfer CBE day
    Fri 06 Apr '18
    06/04 - 08/04: MD981 A01
    Mon 23 Apr '18
    23/04 - 27/04: International Health Policy



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