Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 399–406 | Cite as

The philosophies of psychiatry: empirical perspectives

  • Alan S. G. RalstonEmail author
Scientific Contribution


The past two decades have seen a surge in cross-disciplinary work in philosophy and psychiatry. Much of this work is necessarily abstract whilst those working in the area are aware of the necessity of relating the theoretical and conceptual work to the vagaries of day-to-day practice. But given the diverse methods and aims of philosophy and psychiatry, crossing the ‘communication gap’ between the two disciplines is easier said than done. In this article different methods of bridging this gap are presented and commented upon. A number of research studies are reviewed with an eye to the potential they display to develop interdisciplinary theory. An empirical approach to philosophy of practice with special attention to ordinary language use is proposed as a fruitful may forward.


Philosophy and psychiatry Ordinary language philosophy Medical practice Qualitative research Philosophical beliefs 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GGZ Dijk en Duin/Parnassia Bavo GroepCastricumThe Netherlands

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