Mind, brain, and psychiatry

Grant Gillett

in The Mind and its Discontents

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780199237548
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754555 | DOI:

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry

Mind, brain, and psychiatry

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This chapter explicitly examines the philosophical problem of mind and brain in relation to the theoretical and diagnostic issues that arise in psychiatry and the types of explanation employed by different approaches to psychiatric disorder. The psyche is conceived to be much as Aristotle thought it to be, a mode of functioning in which meaning becomes incarnate in lived human life. That position finesses dualism and critical scientific realism and moves us directly to an exploration of the mirror world of language and thought and the way it reflects on human beings and shapes their lives. The chapter touches on the diversity of problems encountered in clinical psychiatry with specific reference to personality disorder and psychosis and discusses Jaspers’ distinction between causal and meaningful approaches to explanation but then reconceptualizes that distinction to take account of the complex entanglement of the psyche in situated, embodied human subjectivity. The chapter concludes by exposing the arguments commonly used to justify a biological approach to psychiatry.

Chapter.  13281 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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