Notes on a few issues in the philosophy of psychiatry

Mens Sana Monogr. 2009 Jan;7(1):128-83. doi: 10.4103/0973-1229.40731.


THE FIRST PART CALLED THE PREAMBLE TACKLES: (a) the issues of silence and speech, and life and disease; (b) whether we need to know some or all of the truth, and how are exact science and philosophical reason related; (c) the phenomenon of Why, How, and What; (d) how are mind and brain related; (e) what is robust eclecticism, empirical/scientific enquiry, replicability/refutability, and the role of diagnosis and medical model in psychiatry; (f) bioethics and the four principles of beneficence, non-malfeasance, autonomy, and justice; (g) the four concepts of disease, illness, sickness, and disorder; how confusion is confounded by these concepts but clarity is imperative if we want to make sense out of them; and how psychiatry is an interim medical discipline.THE SECOND PART CALLED THE ISSUES DEALS WITH: (a) the concepts of nature and nurture; the biological and the psychosocial; and psychiatric disease and brain pathophysiology; (b) biology, Freud and the reinvention of psychiatry; (c) critics of psychiatry, mind-body problem and paradigm shifts in psychiatry; (d) the biological, the psychoanalytic, the psychosocial and the cognitive; (e) the issues of clarity, reductionism, and integration; (f) what are the fool-proof criteria, which are false leads, and what is the need for questioning assumptions in psychiatry.The third part is called Psychiatric Disorder, Psychiatric Ethics, and Psychiatry Connected Disciplines. It includes topics like (a) psychiatric disorder, mental health, and mental phenomena; (b) issues in psychiatric ethics; (c) social psychiatry, liaison psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, forensic psychiatry, and neuropsychiatry.The fourth part is called Antipsychiatry, Blunting Creativity, etc. It includes topics like (a) antipsychiatry revisited; (b) basic arguments of antipsychiatry, Szasz, etc.; (c) psychiatric classification and value judgment; (d) conformity, labeling, and blunting creativity.The fifth part is called The Role of Philosophy, Religion, and Spirituality in Psychiatry. It includes topics like (a) relevance of philosophy to psychiatry; (b) psychiatry, religion, spirituality, and culture; (c) ancient Indian concepts and contemporary psychiatry; (d) Indian holism and Western reductionism; (e) science, humanism, and the nomothetic-idiographic orientation.The last part, called Final Goal, talks of the need for a grand unified theory.The whole discussion is put in the form of refutable points.

Keywords: Ancient Indian Concepts; Antipsychiatry; Bioethics; Biological And Psychosocial; Blunting Creativity; Critics Of Psychiatry; Diagnosis And Medical Model In Psychiatry; Disease, Illness, Sickness And Disorder; Eclecticism; Forensic Psychiatry And Neuropsychiatry; Grand Unified Theory; Liaison Psychiatry; Mind-Body Problem And Paradigm Shifts In Psychiatry; Psychiatric Ethics; Psychiatry Religion Spirituality And Culture; Psychosomatic Medicine; Science Humanism And The Nomothetic-Idiographic Orientation; Social Psychiatry; Why, How And What.