The epistemological basis of personal recovery

Mike Slade

in Recovery of People with Mental Illness

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199691319
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754791 | DOI:

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry

The epistemological basis of personal recovery

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Personal recovery—the development of a meaningful and purposeful life that is worth living—is an inherently subjective experience. Mental health services have been influenced by post-Enlightenment values which position subjective experience as subordinate to observation, experimentation, and phenomenological form. If mental health services are to fully support recovery, some basic epistemological assumptions that are embedded, though rarely explicitly, in mental health practice will need to be reconsidered. This chapter explores the limitations of nomothetic knowledge, successionist notions of causality, and (at a higher level) the Apollonian world view. It argues that there is a need to give greater primacy to individual experience, and that a constructivist epistemology is a more helpful basis for recovery-oriented mental health services.

Chapter.  7690 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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