Mind, Meaning, and Mental Disorder: The Nature of Causal Explanation in Psychology and Psychiatry (International Perspectives in Philosophy and ... Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry)

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9780198515609: Mind, Meaning, and Mental Disorder: The Nature of Causal Explanation in Psychology and Psychiatry (International Perspectives in Philosophy and ... Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry)
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Philosophical ideas about the mind, brain, and behavior can seem theoretical and unimportant when placed alongside the urgent questions of mental distress and disorder. However, there is a need to give direction to attempts to answer these questions. On the one hand a substantial research effort in going into the investigation of brain processes and the development of drug treatments for psychiatric disorders, and on the other, a wide range of psychotherapies is becoming available to adults and children with mental health problems. These two strands reflect traditional distinctions between mind and body, and causal as opposed to meaningful explanations of behavior. In this book, which has been written for psychiatrists, psychologists, philosophers, and others in related fields, the authors propose a radical re-interpretation of these traditional distinctions. Throughout the discussions philosophical theories are brought to bear on the particular questions of the explanation of behaviors, the nature of mental causation, and eventually the origins of major disorders including depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and personality disorder.

First published in 1996, this volume played an important role in bridging the gap between philosophy and psychiatry, and introducing those in psychiatry to philosophical ideas somewhat neglected in their field. Completely updated, the new edition of this acclaimed volume draws on the strengths of the first edition, and will be a central text in the burgeoning field of philosophy of psychiatry.

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Review:

...an excellent discussion and philosophical critque of the use of the term 'mental disorder'. (The Psychologist)

The first edition of this book published in 1996, is already something of a classic. This second edition... is an excellent book that should be read by any mental health professiona, carer or user of mental health services who is trying to reconcile the myriad explanations put forward as causes of mental illness or justifications for a treatment's efficacy. (Mental Health Today)

From reviews of the previous edition:

This book represents a spirited effort to retain some respect for meaning in human life. It is very well written and eloquently argued. It should be read by all philosophers and by psychologists and psychiatrists interested in the foundations of their discipline. (Psychological Medicine)

Recent work on evolutionary psychology emphasizes the importance of understanding the evolutionary function of cognitive mechanisms in charaterizing mental disorders. Bolton and Hill's account offers an important variant on these new approaches. (The Philosophical Review)

This book succeeds in initiating a genuine process of interaction between the world of mental health and that of philosophy of mind. It is exemplary in its scholarship and clarity. (Peter Fonagy, Freud Memorial Professor, University College, London, and Research Director, Anna Freud Centre)

This book will be a landmark in the philosophy of psychiatry, and should be read by anybody interested in mental disorder or the philosophy of mind. (David Papineau, Professor of Philosophy of Science, Kings College, London)

A meticulously crafted account of meaning and cause which generates a theory of mind rich enough to encompass the wide diversity of human psychopathology. (K. W. M. Fulford, Professor of Philosophy and Mental Health, University of Warwick)

About the Author:

Derek Bolton is in the Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, London. Jonathan Hill is with the Child Mental Health Unit, Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital, Liverpool.

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