Philosophy and Psychopathology

  • Manfred Spitzer
  • Brendan A. Maher

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XII
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Manfred Spitzer
      Pages 3-18
  3. Experience and Its Disturbances

  4. Rationality and Self

  5. Perception, Thought and Schizophrenia

  6. Final Comments and Reflections

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 221-221
    2. Manfred Spitzer, Brendan A. Maher, Friedrich A. Uehlein
      Pages 223-239
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 241-247

About this book


Philosophy and psychopathology have more in common than philosophers, psychiatrists and clinical psychologists might think. Three fields of inquiry come to mind: (1) Questions about the scientific status of psychopatho­ logical statements and claims, (2) ethical questions, and (3) problems regarding the question of how to account for something like a disordered mind. While the first two domains have frequently been addressed in articles and debates (think of the mind-body problem and the problem of institutionalization versus self-determination as examples of issues in the two fields), the question of how the mind should be conceived in order for psychopathology to work best has seldom been discussed. The present volume focuses on this question. Perception, thought, affect, will, and the like are terms which made their way from philosophy into psychology, and into present psychiatry, where disturbances of these "faculties" or "functions" are believed to form the most basic part of symptomatology. While these terms and many others that are used to refer to symptoms of mental disorder (such as "self', "consciousness", "drive", and "identity") may seem to be purely descriptive and theoretically "innocent", they are packed with implicit assumptions, theoretical concepts, and sometimes dogmatic postulates.


philosophy physiology psychology psychopathology schizophrenia thinking

Editors and affiliations

  • Manfred Spitzer
    • 1
  • Brendan A. Maher
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

Bibliographic information