Chapter

Neurobiological Models

Edited by Jennifer Radden

in The Philosophy of Psychiatry

Published in print June 2004 | ISBN: 9780195149531
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199870943 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195149531.003.0027

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry

 Neurobiological Models

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This chapter looks at examples of biological approaches to understanding two mental disorders: schizophrenia and addiction. It shows that biological models in psychiatry depend on an implicit concept referred to as “soma”. Soma is what holds together biological psychiatry's conception of the body—an overarching conception of the kind of thing a body is. As such, it sets the agenda for psychiatric research on bodies: given that the body is such and such kind of thing, psychiatrists expect to find these other kinds of things as part of the body or related to it. It is argued that soma functions in a manner analogous to a Sellarsian Given. As a result, it also suffers the problems of the Given. Biological psychiatry would do better to approach soma in a different way, thereby opening a genuine place for the mind in neural explanations.

Keywords: biological psychiatry; biological models; schizophrenia; addiction; soma; Sellars; the Given

Chapter.  7662 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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