Philosophy of Mental Health

Course content

Mental illness is an increasing problem involving dramatic personal and socioeconomic costs. Developments in genetics, evolutionary biology, and neuroscience over the last two decades have made it obvious for psychiatrists and psychologists alike that the question ‘what is mental illness?’ is still an open question that requires interdisciplinary resources. Philosophy of mental health is an attempt to develop a solid conceptual framework for the interdisciplinary exploration of mental illness. This course is an introduction to the burgeoning field of philosophy of psychiatry. Against a solid historical background, the course sets out to present, examine, and discuss concepts fundamental to our understanding of mental illness (mind, body, self, person, rationality, emotion, normality/disorder), the meaning of psychopathology, the relationship between biology (genetics, evolutionary biology, and neuroscience in particular) and subjectivity, and the question of therapy (the values and norms of well-being).

Education

The course is planned with physical attendance, but can also be accessed as live streaming of registered participants.

Learning outcome

This course will introduce you to some of basic philosophical dimensions of mental health. This introduction will enable the student to understand and evaluate critically the problems involved in the growing challenges to mental health. Besides getting a solid understanding of the historical background of contemporary philosophy of mental health, you will learn about the virtues and limit of scientific explanations of mental illness; the complex relationship of biological, psychological, and social factors involved in mental illness; the question of psychopathology and phenomenology in a scientific culture; the problem of health care; the issue of medicalization; and the scope and aim of therapy.

 

Teaching and learning methods

The sessions are structured as a combination of lecture, discussion, and group work with a focus on engaging the student. Each session is framed by a systematic PowerPoint presentation of the themes and readings in question. The presentation will encourage and guide the discussion and the group work in the class. The student can expect a lively and systematically oriented teacher who will attempt to make the issues both interesting and relevant to a contemporary setting while maintaining a substantial theoretical level and the necessary historical perspective. 

 

Course ECTS credits 15

 

 

Textbooks

  • Graham, George. The Disordered Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Mental

    Illness, 2nd edition London: Routledge 2013.

  • Richard J. McNally. What is Mental Illness? Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 2011.
  • Roy Porter. Madness: A Brief History of Mental Illness. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2002.

     

     

Articles and Chapters

  • Femi Oyebode. Sims’ Symtoms in the Mind. 4th Edition. Philadelphia: Elsevier 2008, Ch. 1: 3-25).
  • Dominic Murphy. "Philosophy of Psychiatry", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = .
  • Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen. Making Minds and Madness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2009, Ch.10: 185-196.
  • Eric R. Kandel. “A New Intellectual Framework for Psychiatry”. American Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 155 (1998): 457-469.
  • George L. Engel. “The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biomedicine”. Science 196 (1977): 129-136.
  • Allen Frances. “DSM in Philosophyland: Curiouser and Curiouser”.  AAP&P Bulletin 17 (2010): 21-25.
  • Wolfgang Blankenburg. “Phenomenology and Psychopathology”. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 11 (1980): 50-78.
  • Russell Meares. Intimacy & Alienation. London: Routledge 2000, Ch. 2-5: 7-39.
  • Truls Wyller. “The Place of Pain in Life”. Philosophy 80 (2005): 385-393.
  • Shaun Gallagher and Dan Zahavi. The Phenomenological Mind. London: Routledge 2012, Ch. 2: 15-47
  • Thomas Nagel. “What It Is Like to Be a Bat”. The Philosophical Review 83 (1974): 435-450.
  • Jerome C. Wakefield. “The Concept of Mental Disorder: Diagnostic Implications of the Harmful Dysfunction Analysis”. World Psychiatry 6 (1992): 149-156.
  • Thomas R. Insel & Bruce N. Cuthbert. “Brain Disorders? Precisely: Precision Medicine Comes to Psychiatry” Science 348 (2016): 499-500.
Written
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Type of assessment details
Undergraduate requirements (bachelor students):

Requirement to pass the course for undergraduate students (bachelor students) are: a) A syllabus of 1,200-1,500 pages. The syllabus includes both the course literature covered in connection with the course and the assignment literature on which the written homework assignment is based, which the student finds and has approved by the teacher. The syllabus (course and assignment literature combined) may not exceed 1,500 pages. b) Active participation (at least 75% of the hours attended documented by protocol) and preparation of a written home assignment with a scope of 24,000-28,800 characters, i.e. 10-12 pages, based on 600-800 pages of literature as agreed with the course teacher. The assignment is assessed by the teacher. The assessment is based on the 7-point grading scale.

Graduate requirements (kandidat/master students):

Requirement to pass the course for graduate students (kandidat/master students) are: a) A syllabus of 1,200-1,500 pages. The syllabus includes both the course literature covered in connection with the teaching and the assignment literature on which the written homework assignment is based, which the student finds and has approved by the teacher. The syllabus (course and assignment literature combined) may not exceed 1,500 pages. b) Active participation (at least 75% of the hours attended documented by protocol) and preparation of a written home assignment with a scope of 36,000-48,000 characters, i.e. 15-20 pages, based on 800-1,000 pages of literature as agreed with the teacher. The assignment is assessed by the teacher. The assessment is based on the 7-point grading scale.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Exam period

Winter and Summer Exam

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 122
  • Exam Preparation
  • 150
  • Exam
  • 120
  • English
  • 420

Kursusinformation

Language
English
Course number
TTEASK026U
ECTS
15 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master
Bachelor
Bachelor choice
Full Degree Master choice
Part Time Master
Duration

1 semester

Placement
Autumn And Spring
Schedulegroup
Tuesdays 13:30-16

Autumn 2023

First day is Tuesday, 29 August

Spring 2024

First day is Tuesday, 23 January
Capacity
..
Studyboard
Study board of Theology
Contracting department
  • Theology
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Theology
Course Coordinator
  • René Rosfort   (3-8275825084757f7c3e7b853e747b)
Teacher

René Rosfort

Saved on the 23-08-2023

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