Psychiatry has since its very beginning had a troublesome relationship with philosophy. Some of the founding fathers of psychiatry believed philosophical knowledge to be indispensable for the clinical practice. Can such a verdict still be maintained, or would it improve the scientific credentials of psychiatry, if it resolutely turned its back to philosophy and became more like the other medical specialties? In my talk, I will suggest that the later move would be a grave mistake. I will show how our conception and description of a variety of different psychiatric conditions inevitable draw on various philosophical concepts and why a familiarity with those concepts and their theoretical foundations are important. I my talk, I will discuss some historical references, some clinical cases, and also exemplify how ideas from phenomenological philosophy have been used by a number of psychiatrists.
About the Speaker
Dan Zahavi, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Copenhagen; Professor of Philosophy and Senior Research Fellow at St. Hilda’s College, University of Oxford; and Director of the Center for Subjectivity Research, University of Copenhagen.