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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
  • End Point Assessment – Advanced Practice

    Special Incident Management



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