Tim Thornton (University of Central Lancashire, Preston): Psychiatry’s inchoate wish for a paradigm shift

Datum / Uhrzeit:
27.06.18   /  12:30 - 14:00

Institut für Philosophie

24.21.03 Raum 86


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Tim Thornton (University of Central Lancashire, Preston): Psychiatry’s inchoate wish for a paradigm shift

Zum Vortrag:

In recent years, there have been repeated calls for a ‘paradigm shift’ in psychiatry. In this presentation, I take this idea seriously and explore its consequences. Having illustrated calls for a paradigm shift, I sketch the Kuhnian account of science from which the idea is taken and highlight the connection to incommensurability. I then outline a distinction drawn from Winch between-putative sciences where the self-understanding of subjects plays no role and those where it is fundamental. I argue that psychiatry falls into the latter kind. This suggests that the wish for a paradigm shift in psychiatry is either incoherent or a wish for a radical but unforeseeable overhaul of an ignificant aspect of our self-understanding as subjects and agents. However thought-through this wish actually is, taking it seriously sheds light on psychiatry's role in articulating a more general self-conscious understanding of flourishing and languishing.

Zur Person:

Tim Thornton is Professor of Philosophy and Mental Health at the UCLAN, Preston. As well as contemporary philosophy of thought and language, his research concerns conceptual issues at the heart of mental health care. He has written papers on clinical judgement, idiographic and narrative understanding, the interpretation of psychopathology and reductionism and social constructionism in psychiatry.  He is author of Essential Philosophy of Psychiatry (OUP 2007), Wittgenstein on Language and Thought (EUP 1998), John McDowell (Acumen 2004). He runs, with Gloria Ayob, a Philosophy and Mental Health distance learning teaching programme at the University of Central Lancashire.


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