King’s Workshop

Conceptual Issues in Biological Psychiatry

The Peter Sowerby Philosophy & Medicine project invites abstract submissions for an interdisciplinary two-day workshop on conceptual issues in biological psychiatry scheduled to take place on the 6th and 7th of November 2019 at King’s College London.

What follows is a suggestive, non-exhaustive list of questions we are interested in discussing as part of the workshop.

*   What kinds of ethical challenges does biological/neuro-psychiatry face, and how might they be addressed?

*   What are the consequences of embracing externalist (4E) views on cognition for biological psychiatry?

*   Can predictive processing provide a coherent account of psychiatric disorder?

*   Should psychiatric classification be relative to neurobiological or psychological commonalities?

*   What is the relationship between psychiatry and neurology? What should it be

*   What is the proper role for psychopharmacology?

*   What methodological problems does scientific psychiatry face (in e.g. RCTs and neuroimaging studies)?

*   Is biological psychiatry badly placed to account/allow for social or environmental causes of psychiatric disorder?

*   Do descriptions of psychiatric disorder that focus on dysfunction in the brain have detrimental impacts on agency in affected individuals?

*   Is there any hope left for naturalistic concepts of mental disorder?

Please send abstracts (of up to 700 words) prepared for blind-review, with ‘Sowerby Biological Psychiatry’ in the subject line to: Please note your affiliation/current position in the body of the email.

Deadline: 1st of September 2019

We especially welcome submissions from postgraduate and early-career researchers, researchers in clinical/empirical fields, as well as from women and other groups underrepresented in philosophy.

General inquires can be directed to the organisers:

Harriet Fagerberg ( and

Anneli Jefferson (