'George Graham is contemporary philosophy’s most gifted and humane writer. The Disordered Mind is a wise, deep, and thorough inquiry into the nature of the human mind and the various creaks, cracks, and crevices into which it is prone sometimes to wander.' –Owen Flanagan, Duke University, USA
Mental disorder raises profound questions about the nature of the mind. The Disordered Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Mental Illness is the first book to systematically examine and explain, from a philosophical standpoint, what mental disorder is: its reality, causes, consequences and more. It is also an outstanding introduction to philosophy of mind from the perspective of mental disorder.
Each chapter explores a central question or problem about mental disorder, including:
what is mental disorder and can it be distinguished from neurological disorder?
is science the best model for understanding mental disorder, or do social, cultural and psychological factors play a role?
what makes mental disorders undesirable? Are they diseases?
mental disorder and the mind-body problem
is mental disorder a breakdown of rationality? What is a rational mind?
addiction, responsibility and compulsion
ethical issues in relation to mental disorder, including dignity and self-respect.
Each topic is clearly explained and placed in both a clinical and philosophical context. Mental disorders discussed include clinical depression, dissociative identity disorder, anxiety, religious delusions and paranoia. Several non-mental neurological disorders that possess psychological symptoms are also examined, including Alzheimer’s disease, Down’s syndrome and Tourette’s syndrome. Additional features, such as chapter summaries and annotated further reading provide helpful tools for those coming to the subject for the first time.
Throughout, George Graham draws expertly on issues that cut across philosophy, science, and psychiatry. As such, The Disordered Mind is a superb introduction to the philosophy of mental disorder for students of philosophy, psychology, psychiatry and related mental health professions.
George Graham is Professor of Philosophy and Neuroscience at Georgia State University and a past president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology. He is co-author and co-editor of the Oxford Textbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry (2006).
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