International Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry

INPP has its own book series: International Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry, edited by Bill Fulford, John Sadler and Giovanni Stanghellini, and published by Oxford University Press. Two reviews of selected titles in this series can be found in Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine, 2007, 2:9 – and Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 2008, 11:4, 485-487. Books in the series include:


addictionAddiction and Weakness of Will, edited by Lubomira Radoilska. Contributing to central issues in moral psychology and philosophy of action, including the relationship between responsibility and intentional agency, and the nature and scope of moral appraisal. Reviewed for Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews by Neil Levy, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health/ Oxford Centre for Neuroethics.


downloadAlternative Perspectives on Psychiatric Validation, edited by Peter Zachar, Drozdstoj St. Stoyanov,Massimiliano Aragona, and Assen Jablensky. In this important new book in the IPPP series, a group of leading thinkers in psychiatry, psychology, and philosophy offer alternative perspectives that address both the scientific and clinical aspects of psychiatric validation, emphasizing throughout their philosophical and historical considerations. 


autonomy and mental disorderAutonomy and Mental Disorder, edited by Lubomira Radoilska. This edited collection considers the ways in which autonomy is and is not compromised in mental illness.




body subjectsBody-subjects and Disordered Minds: Treating the Whole Person in Psychiatry, by Eric Matthews. Uses Merleau-Ponty’s existential-phenomenological understanding of the type of existence enjoyed by human beings to theorise the nature of many ‘mental illnesses’. Reviewed for Metapsychology by Serife Tekin. Synopsis by Richard Gipps.



delusionsDelusions and Other Irrational Beliefs, by Lisa Bortolotti. Bortolotti takes up the question of the status of delusion – whether delusions are beliefs and whether they are irrational. The doxastic (belief) conception of delusion is defended, and delusions are argued to be continuous with ordinary beliefs. Bortolotti’s particular contribution focuses on the nature of self-ascription of belief, suggesting that considering failures in the ‘authorship’ of (delusional) beliefs sheds light on their genesis and character.


dementiaDementia: Mind, Meaning, and the Person, edited by Julian Hughes, Stephen Louw, and Steven R. Sabat. This collection of essays by philosophers and mental health practitioners explores the nature of personal identity in dementia. The authors show how the lives and selfhood of people with dementia can be enhanced by attention to their psychosocial and spiritual environment. Synopsis by Richard Gipps.


diagnosDiagnostic Dilemmas in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Philosophical Perspectives, Christian Perring, Lloyd Wells. A philosophically informed account of child and adolescent psychiatry, giving readers a deeper understanding of some of the ethical issues in this field.



discursive perspectivesDiscursive Perspectives in Therapeutic Practice, edited by Andy Lock and Tom Strong. This edited collection has its origins in the Discursive Therapies postgraduate programme at Massey University, New Zealand. It considers a variety of topics including the nature of therapeutic language, positioning theory, narratology, constructionism, narrative therapy, collaborative therapy, solution-focused therapy, Wittgenstein, complexity theory, Maori expressions of healing in ‘just therapy’, social context, the body and trauma, and the therapeutic possibilities of conversation.


disembodiedDisembodied Spirits and Deanimated Bodies: The Psychopathology of Common Sense, by Giovanni Stanghellini. Stanghellini’s book provides a valuable unifying phenomenological perspective on schizophrenia; it theorises the phenomenological core of schizophrenia in terms of ‘autistic dissociatility’, and views this as rooted in a failure of ‘embodiment’. Synopsis by Richard Gipps.



9780199689231 Embodied Selves and Divided Minds, by Michelle Maiese. Discusses the connections between work in embodied cognition, philosophical approaches to the self and personal identity, and philosophy of psychiatry. Provides a critical dialogue between Philosophy and Psychiatry in order to better understand the important issues surrounding self-consciousness, personal identity, and psychopathology. Metapsychology review here.


emotionsEmotions and Personhood: Exploring fragility, making sense of vulnerability, by Giovanni Stanghellini and René Rosfort. The authors argue for an account of emotions and personhood that attempts to understand human emotions from the combined approach of philosophy and psychopathology, taking its models particularly from hermeneutical phenomenology and from dialectical psychopathology. Within the book, the authors develop a basic set of concepts for understanding what emotional experience means for a human person, with the assumption that human emotional experience is fragile – a fact which entails vulnerability to mental disturbance.

empiricalEmpirical Ethics in Psychiatry, edited by Guy Widdershoven, John McMillan, Tony Hope, & Lieke van der Scheer. Demonstrates how ethics can engage more closely with the reality of psychiatric practice and shows how empirical methodologies from the social sciences can help foster this link. The book is presented in two parts. Chapters 2 to 4 consider what it might mean to talk of ‘empirical ethics’; chapters 5 to 15 are presented as case studies in empirical ethics. Reviewed by George Graham for Metapsychology Online Reviews. Synopsis by Richard Gipps.


essential philpsychEssential Philosophy of Psychiatry, by Tim Thornton. This book summarises recent analytical research in the philosophy of psychiatry, paying particular attention to the limits of naturalism as a philosophical framework for psychiatry. Reviewed by Neil Levy for Metapsychology Online Reviews. Reviewed by Lisa Bortolotti for the British Journal of Psychiatry. Reviewed by Chris Perring for Mind, 2009, vol. 118, pp. 882-886Synopsis by Richard Gipps.


experiences of depression Experiences of Depression: A Study in Phenomenology, by Matthew Ratcliffe. Experiences of Depression is a philosophical exploration of what it is like to be depressed. In this important new book, Matthew Ratcliffe develops a detailed account of depression experiences by drawing on work in phenomenology, philosophy of mind, and several other disciplines. In so doing, he makes clear how phenomenological research can contribute to psychiatry, by helping us to better understand patients’ experiences, as well as informing classification, diagnosis, and treatment.


feelingsFeelings of Being: Phenomenology, Psychopathology and Taken-for-granted Reality, by Matthew Ratcliffe. This book suggests that philosophers and psychopathologists would benefit from paying more attention to existential feelings – general background bodily orientations to the world which disclose it, or structure experience, in particular ways. A preliminary treatment of these themes can be found in Ratcliffe’s paper The Feeling of Being. The book has been reviewed by Alice Gee for Metapsychology, 2008: 12, 1; by Somogy Varga for Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 8, 4, 607-611; by Adam Morton for The Philosophical Quarterly, 60, 240, 661-662; and by G. Ferramosca (2010) for Comprendre, 21.

free willFree Will and Responsibility: A guide for practitioners, by John S. Callender. How can our intuitive sense of freedom be reconciled with causal determinism? How can moral judgment and punishment be compatible with the belief that the events that are human actions are, like any other event, the effects of prior causes? In Part One Callender describes the evolution of morality and the roles of reason and emotion in the making of moral judgements. He then summarises recent neuroscientific research on volitional behaviour, moral decision-making and criminality and discusses what this might mean for our practices of blame and punishment. In Part Two he examines the overlaps between art, free will, and moral values and argues that this offers a paradigm that reconciles our subjective sense of freedom with causal determinism. In Part Three he examines these ideas in the clinical context of conditions such as psychopathy, PTSD and the dissociative disorders and discusses their implications for psychotherapy.

is edidence Is Evidence Based Psychiatry Ethical?, by Mona Gupta. Rated as one of the top 15 breakthroughs in medicine over the last 150 years, evidence-based medicine (EBM) has become highly influential in medicine. Put simply, EBM promotes a seemingly irrefutable, principle: that decision-making in medical practice should be based, as much as possible, on the most up-to-date research findings. EBM has been particularly popular within psychiatry, a field that is haunted by a legacy of controversial interventions. For advocates, anchoring psychiatric practice in research data makes psychiatry more scientific valid and ethically legitimate. Few, however, have questioned whether EBM, a concept pioneered by those working in other areas of medicine, can be applied to psychiatric disorders. In this groundbreaking book, the Canadian psychiatrist and ethicist Mona Gupta analyzes the basic assumptions of EBM, and critically examines their applicability to psychiatry. By highlighting the basic ethical tensions between psychiatry and EBM, the author addresses the fundamental and controversial question – should psychiatrists practice evidence-based medicine at all?

Madness and the demand for recognition, MA Rashed, sA philosophical inquiry into identity and mental health activism. The first comprehensive philosophical examination of the claims and demands of Mad activism. Engages with a diverse set of disciplines and literatures: philosophy of psychiatry, Mad studies, Disability studies, activist literature, and philosophical literature on identity and recognition. Develops a theoretical framework for identity and recognition that draws on Georg Hegel, Immanuel Kant, and the work of Charles Taylor, Axel Honneth, Nancy Fraser, Kwame Appiah, and Richard Rorty


maladaptingMaladapting Minds: Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Evolutionary Theory, edited by Pieter R Adriaens and Andreas de Block.In their introduction the editors spell out three reasons why philosophers of psychiatry have taken an interest in evolutionary theory, and the 11 essays which follow are divided accordingly into three sections: 1) The first concerns the philosophy of science of, e.g., sociobiological explanations of disturbed human behaviour. 2) Considerations of whether evolutionary theory can contribute to an objective, as opposed to normative, definition of ‘mental disorder’ to (as the rhetoric might be), ‘set psychiatry on a sound scientific footing’ are tackled in the second section. 3) Finally the book explores the question of whether our vulnerability to mental disorders may be a defining feature of the species.

maladaptingMapping the Edges and the In-between: A Critical Analysis of Borderline Personality Disorder, by Nancy Potter. Questions the core concepts and symptoms that underlie the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. Metapsychology review here.




metaphorThe Metaphor of Mental Illness, by Neil Pickering.A revaluation of the traditional sceptical and apologetical philosophical arguments about the existence and nature of mental illness. Pickering accepts many of the sceptical arguments against mental illness but resists their conclusions. Synopsis by Richard Gipps.



mind discontentsThe Mind and Its Discontents, by Grant Gillett. 2nd edition, 2009. Reviewed by Peter B. Raabe for Metapsychology, 13, 42. Reviewed by Hannah Pickard for Journal of Applied Philosophy, 27, 3, 320-322.




meaningMind, Meaning and Mental Disorder: The Nature of Causal Explanation in Psychology and Psychiatry, 2nd edition, by Derek Bolton and Jonathan Hill. Provides a philosophical framework to unify the mental and physical, meaningful and causal, aspects of human existence in the context of mental health and illness.



9780198747253Naturalism, Interpretation, and Mental Disorder, by Somogy Varga. This book is unique in focusing on challenges that concern processes of interpretation and understanding and in integrating a hermeneutical perspective to understanding mental illness.




natureNature and Narrative: An Introduction to the New Philosophy of Psychiatry, edited by Bill Fulford, Katherine Morris, John Sadler and Giovanni Stanghellini. Essays on historical, metaphilosophical, ethical, psychological, phenomenological and psychotherapeutic themes in the field of mental health. Synopsis by Richard Gipps.



one centuryOne Century of Karl Jaspers’ General Psychopathology, Giovanni Stanghellini, Thomas Fuchs.




The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychoanalysis. Edited by Richard Gipps and Michael Lacewing. Comprehensive – far greater range and number of philosophical essays on psychoanalysis than ever previously published. Critical – rigorous, reflective treatment of topics Bridges the gap between those who critically reject psychoanalysis and those who uncritically accept it. Current – – new work by leading scholars in the field Defines the state of knowledge in each topic area and pushes forward the debate.


textbkOxford Textbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry, by Bill Fulford, Tim Thornton, and George Graham. A textbook for trainee psychiatrists and mental health practitioners, exploring the philosophical underpinnings of psychiatric practice. It has been reviewed by Dr Alan Beveridge in the British Journal of Psychiatry, by Dr. Ajit V. Bhide at Mens Sana Monographs, and by Heidi Lene Maibom at Philosophical Psychology.


issuesPhilosophical Issues in Psychiatry II: Nosology, Edited by Kenneth S. Kendler and Josef Parnas. Provides a variety of philosophical perspectives on psychiatric diagnosis, asking: What is the nature of psychiatric illness? Can it be clearly defined? If so, how? What is the role of value judgements in diagnosis? How have diagnostic concepts changed over time? How can we best understand diagnostic validity? How can diagnosis be improved?


ooonPhilosophical Issues in Psychiatry III: Nosology, Edited by Kenneth S. Kendler and Josef Parnas. This book explores the forces that have shaped the changes within in Psychiatry over the last 150 years and especially how substantial “internal” advances in our knowledge of the nature and causes of psychiatric illness have interacted with a plethora of external forces that have impacted on the psychiatric profession. It includes contributions from philosophers of science with an interest in psychiatry, psychiatrists and psychologists with expertise in the history of their field and historians of psychiatry. Each chapter is accompanied by an introduction and a commentary.

technologyPhilosophical Perspectives on Technology and Psychiatry, Edited by James Phillips.Examines how technology has come to influence and drive psychiatry, and considers the cost of these developments. Chapters are contributed by both philosophers and psychiatrists. Review for Metapsychology Online Reviews by Justine Johnstone. Synopsis by Richard Gipps.



companionThe Philosophy of Psychiatry: A Companion, edited by Jennifer Radden. A collection of essays exploring psychopathology, antimonies of practice (fact/value, diagnosis/antidiagnosis, understanding/explanation, reductionism/holism), values and ethics, different theoretical models, and the concepts of mental disorder. Reviewed by Daniel Callcut for Metapsychology Online Reviews.



arationalPhilosophy, Psychoanalysis, and the A-Rational Mind, by Linda Brakel.A philosophical exploration and explication of psychoanalytic concepts.




portraitPortrait of the Psychiatrist as a Young Man: The early writing and work of R. D. Laing, by Allan Beveridge.Based on previously unexamined archives relating to his private papers and clinical notes, Portrait of the Psychiatrist as a Young Man sheds new light on RD Laing, and in particular his early formative years. The first half of the book considers Laing’s intellectual journey through the world of ideas and his development as a psychiatric theorist. An analysis of his notebooks and personal library reveals Laing’s engagement not only with psychiatric theory, but also with a wide range of other disciplines, such as philosophy, literature, and religion. This part of the book considers how this shaped Laing’s writing about madness and his evolution as a clinician. The second half draws on a rich and completely unexplored collection of Laing’s clinical notes, which detail his encounters with patients in his early years as a psychiatrist, firstly in the British Army, subsequently in the psychiatric hospitals of Glasgow, and finally in the Tavistock Clinic in London. These notes reveal what Laing was actually doing in clinical practice, and how theory interacted with therapy. The majority of patients who were to appear in Laing’s first two books, The Divided Self and The Self and Others have been identified from these records, and this volume provides an account of how the published case histories compare to the original notes. Synopsis by Richard Gipps.

postpsychPostpsychiatry: Mental Health in a Postmodern World, by Patrick Bracken and Philip Thomas.Attempts to rethink some of the fundamental assumptions of mental health work, using recent developments in philosophy and ethics to help us clarify some of the dilemmas and conflicts around different understandings of madness. Examines the power of psychiatry to shape how we understand ourselves and our emotions, before considering some of the basic limitations of psychiatry as science to make madness meaningful. Stresses the importance of cultural contexts in understanding madness, placing ethics before technology in responding to madness, and minimising ‘therapeutic’ coercion.

cogneuroPsychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience: Philosophical Perspectives, by Mathew Broome and Lisa Bortolotti. (2009).This is a collection of papers on the status of psychiatry as a science. Contributors include leading experts in philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, psychiatry, psychology, cognitive neuroscience, phenomenology, ethics and moral psychology. Some of the issues addressed are whether explanation in psychiatry can be tackled satisfactorily by neuroscientific investigation, and whether an interdisciplinary approach is necessary to gain a full understanding of a variety of psychiatric conditions (e.g. addiction, depression, delusions, anosognosia, obsessive thoughts). Synopsis and commentary by Drozdstoj Stoyanov. Review by John CallenderThe British Journal of Psychiatry (2010) 197, 78-80 and Review by Andrea Eugenio Cavanna, Sachin Shah & Hugh RickardsCognitive Neuropsychiatry, 15, 6, 568-573.

copulsionRationality and Compulsion: Applying Action Theory to Psychiatry, by Lennart Nordenfelt. An analysis of delusion and lack of freedom in action. Nordenfelt presents an account of what freedom in action amount to, which account makes reference to both intentional and causal factors. Failures in action which are due to such action being due to compulsion are then discussed. Delusional conditions and other psychiatric disorders are finally theorised as failures in action marked by a failure of freedom in action, in particular by a freedom to be able to seriously consider alternatives to such actions.


reconceivingReconceiving Schizophrenia, edited by Man Cheung Chung, Bill Fulford & George Graham.Perspectives on the schizophrenia diagnosis drawing on phenomenological and analytical philosophy and psychology, introduced by the editors. Reviewed for Metapsychology by Alice Gee. Reviewed (2010) for Philosophical Psychology, 23, 5, 707-711, by Yegan Pillay. Synopsis by Richard Gipps.


recoveryRecovery of People with Mental Illness: Philosophical and Related Perspectives, Abraham Rudnick. Includes a variety of philosophical perspectives on recovery which will assist the reader in developing a well-rounded understanding of recovery.




responsbltyResponsibility and Psychopathy: Interfacing law, psychiatry and philosophy, edited by Luca Malatesti and John McMillan. Responsibility and Psychopathy explores the moral responsibility of psychopaths. It engages with problems at the interface of law, psychiatry, and philosophy, and is divided into three parts providing relevant interdisciplinary background information to address this main problem.


fateSchizophrenia and the Fate of the Self, by Paul & John Lysaker. This book explores how schizophrenia disrupts persons’ experiences of themselves as beings in the world, and how that disruption poses enduring barriers to recovery – barriers not reducible to issues of social justice or biology. Reviewed by Edward Willatt for Metapsychology, 2009. Synopsis by Richard Gipps.



sublimeThe Sublime Object of Psychiatry: Schizophrenia in Clinical and Cultural Theory, by Angela Woods.A study of the representations of schizophrenia across a wide range of disciplines and discourses: biological and phenomenological psychiatry, psychoanalysis, critical psychology, antipsychiatry, and postmodern philosophy. In part one, Woods offers an analysis of the foundational clinical accounts of schizophrenia, concentrating on the work of Emil Kraepelin, Eugen Bleuler, Karl Jaspers, Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan. In the second part of the book, she examines how these accounts were critiqued, adapted, and mobilised in the ‘cultural theory’ of R D Laing, Thomas Szasz, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Louis Sass, Fredric Jameson and Jean Baudrillard. Using the aesthetic concept of ‘the sublime’ as an organising framework, Woods explains how a clinical diagnostic category came to be transformed into a potent metaphor in cultural theory, and how, in that transformation, schizophrenia came to be associated with the everyday experience of modern and postmodern life. Synopsis by Jonathan Gadsby.

talkingTalking Cures and Placebo Effects, by David Jopling. Argues that many of the positive results of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis may be ‘placebo effects’. Reviewed by Peter Raabe for Metapsychology (2009), 13, 26.




thinking dementiaThinking through Dementia, by Julian Hughes. Hughes is an old-age psychiatrist bringing a humane and intelligent perspective on the plight of those suffering with dementia. Wittgenstein and Heidegger are called on to provide a framework for understanding the nature of memory, the psychiatric concept of ‘dementia’, and the situated being of the person with dementia.



Thomas Szasz: An appraisal of his legacy, Edited by C.V. Haldipur, James L. Knoll IV, and Eric v.d. Luft.  Insanity Defence – the book examines the concept and his criticism both from an historical and philosophical perspective. Concept of Mental illness – questioning the concept of mental illness is central to much of Szasz’s work. This book examines the concept in depth. Suicide – the matter of suicide has been debated not only by physicians but also by legislators the world over. The book contributes to the debate by examining the issue from various perspectives.


trauamTrauma, Truth and Reconciliation: Healing Damaged Relationships, edited by Nancy Potter.Examines the role of forgiveness in recovery from trauma, showing how it plays a central role in healing those who have been wronged by others. Synopsis by Richard Gipps. Metapsychology review here.



unconcsious knwingUnconscious knowing and other essays in psycho-philosophical analysis, by Linda Brakel.This book presents five essays: 1. Unconscious knowing: Psychoanalytic evidence in support of a radical epistemic view; 2. The limits of rationality: Vagueness, a case study; 3. Agency – ‘me’-ness in action; 4. The placebo effect: Psychoanalytic theory can help explain the phenomenon; 5. Explanations and conclusions. 


9780198722373Vagueness in PsychiatryGeert Keil, Lara Keuck, and Rico HauswaldRepresents the first systematic effort to draw various lines of inquiry together, including the debates about the principles of psychiatric classification, categorical versus dimensional approaches, prodromal phases and sub-threshold disorders, and the problem of over-diagnosis in psychiatry, and relates these debates to philosophical research on vagueness and demarcation problems, helping readers to navigate through the various debates surrounding the problem of blurred boundaries in the classification and diagnosis of mental illness.


valuesValues and Psychiatric Diagnosis, by John Sadler. An examination of the methods of psychiatric diagnosis, exploring how diagnoses are influenced by value judgements.




9780199663866The Virtue of Defiance and Psychiatric Engagement, by Nancy Nyquist Potter. A unique and original treatment of the topic of defiance – Invites readers to think about problems in a new way.




virtuous]The Virtuous Psychiatrist: Character Ethics in Psychiatric Practice, by Jennifer Radden & John Sadler. Applies Aristotelian virtue theory to the clinical encounter, examining the traits necessary for ethically sensitive and clinically effective psychiatric and psychotherapeutic practice. 



what isWhat Is Mental Disorder?: An Essay in Philosophy, Science, and Values, by Derek Bolton.Tackles the problems involved in the definition and boundaries – or lack of boundaries – of the concept of ‘mental disorder’. Reviewed by Phil Jenkins for Metapsychology (2008), 12, 33. Synopsis by Richard Gipps.