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The Disordered Mind

An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Mental Illness

By George Graham

Routledge – 2010 – 290 pages

Purchasing Options:

  • Paperback:
    978-0-415-77472-7
    January 18th 2010
    Out-of-print
  • Hardback:
    978-0-415-77471-0
    January 21st 2010
    Out-of-print

Description

"George Graham is contemporary philosophy’s most gifted and humane writer. The Disordered Mind is a wise, deep, and thorough inquiry into the nature of the human mind and the various ‘creaks, cracks, and crevices’ into which it is prone sometimes to wander."

Owen Flanagan, Duke University, USA

"The book is a success, it is consistently insightful and humane, and conveys a clear understanding not only of relevant philosophical topics, but also of a much more difficult issue, the relevance of those topics to understanding mental illness."

Philip Gerrans, University of Adelaide, Australia

"The Disordered Mind is a must read for anyone who is a psychiatrist, psychologist, philosopher, neurologist, or mental health worker. Indeed, it is a must read for any thoughtful person who simply desires to understand more deeply and more realistically the workings of their own mind as well as the workings of the human mind in general."

Richard Garrett, Bentley University, USA

Mental disorder raises profound questions about the nature of the mind. The Disordered Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Mental Illness is the first book to systematically examine and explain, from a philosophical standpoint, what mental disorder is: its reality, causes, consequences, and more. It is also an outstanding introduction to philosophy of mind from the perspective of mental disorder.

Each chapter explores a central question or problem about mental disorder, including:

  • What is mental disorder and can it be distinguished from neurological disorder?
  • What roles should reference to psychological, cultural, and social factors play in the medical/scientific understanding of mental disorder?
  • What makes mental disorders undesirable? Are they diseases?
  • Mental disorder and the mind–body problem
  • Is mental disorder a breakdown of rationality? What is a rational mind?
  • Addiction, responsibility and compulsion
  • Ethical dilemmas posed by mental disorder, including questions of dignity and self-respect.

Each topic is clearly explained and placed in both a clinical and philosophical context. Mental disorders discussed include clinical depression, dissociative identity disorder, anxiety, religious delusions, and paranoia. Several non-mental neurological disorders that possess psychological symptoms are also examined, including Alzheimer’s disease, Down’s syndrome, and Tourette’s syndrome. Additional features, such as chapter summaries and annotated further reading, provide helpful tools for those coming to the subject for the first time.

Throughout, George Graham draws expertly on issues that cut across philosophy, science, and psychiatry. As such, The Disordered Mind is a superb introduction to the philosophy of mental disorder for students of philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, and related mental health professions.

PHILOSOPHY/PSYCHOLOGY

Reviews

'What Professor Graham's book does in effect is to provide a systematic overview of all of the issues surrounding the concept and theory of mental illness and thereby the central notions embedded in our mental health practices. Moreover, he performs this task with the utmost insight, wealth of knowledge, careful and detailed argumentation, brilliance and clarity of articulation that is certain to make this book a classic that will open the door for a dynamic and fruitful exchange between the two great fields of mental health and the philosophy of mind.

The Disordered Mind is a must read for anyone who is a psychiatrist, psychologist, philosopher, neurologist, or mental health worker. Indeed, it is a must read for any thoughtful person who simply desires to understand more deeply and more realistically the workings of their own mind as well as the workings of the human mind in general.' – Richard Garrett, Bentley University, USA

'George Graham is contemporary philosophy’s most gifted and humane writer. The Disordered Mind is a wise, deep, and thorough inquiry into the nature of the human mind and the various "creaks, cracks, and crevices" into which it is prone sometimes to wander… The Disordered Mind is a pedagogical, philosophical, and psychiatric tour de force.'Owen Flanagan, Duke University, USA

'The book is a success, it is consistently insightful and humane, and conveys a clear understanding not only of relevant philosophical topics, but also of a much more difficult issue, the relevance of those topics to understanding mental illness.'Philip Gerrans, University of Adelaide, Australia

'George Graham has a longstanding reputation as a distinguished philosopher of psychiatry, and The Disordered Mind shows why. Its scope is broad and its presentation is clear and precise. It is a very impressive statement of a widespread and important philosophical perspective on mental illness, which everyone studying the philosophy of psychiatry will want to read … It is clear enough, and vividly enough written, to be assigned fruitfully to undergraduates, but it also makes enough contributions to the central debates in the field to be important for specialists.'Dominic Murphy and Gemma Smart, both University of Sydney, in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

'Graham develops his positions clearly and with an experienced teacher’s eye towards making sure arguments and background issues are clearly discussed. …[The Disordered Mind] would be an excellent book for engaging students in important issues in philosophy of mind or psychology, and it would reward anyone interested in the philosophical issues surrounding the relationship of the mental and the neurological, particularly concerning the disorders of either.' – Jesse Summers, Rice University, USA

Contents

1. Introduction 2. Conceiving Mental Disorder 3. Disorder of Mental Disorder 4. On Being Skeptical about Mental Disorder 5. Seeking Norms for Mental Disorder 6. An Original Position 7. Addiction and Responsibility for Self 8. Reality Lost and Found 9. Minding the Missing Me Epilogue: The Final Affliction: Copenhagen Interpretation. Index

Author Bio

George Graham is Professor of Philosophy and Neuroscience at Georgia State University and a past president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology. He is co-author and co-editor of the Oxford Textbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry (2006).

Name: The Disordered Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Mental Illness (eBook)Routledge 
Description: By George Graham. "George Graham is contemporary philosophy’s most gifted and humane writer. The Disordered Mind is a wise, deep, and thorough inquiry into the nature of the human mind and the various ‘creaks, cracks, and crevices’ into...
Categories: Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Psychology, Mental Health