The Mind and Its Discontents: An Essay in Discursive Psychiatry

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9780198523130: The Mind and Its Discontents: An Essay in Discursive Psychiatry
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Grant Gillett argues that to understand mental illness fully requires more than a study of biological models of mental processes and pathologies. As intensely social animals, he argues, we need to look for the causes of human mental disorders in our interactions with others; in social rule-following and its role in the organization of mental content; in the power relations embedded within social structures and cultural norms; in the way that our mental life is inscribed by a cumulative life of encounters with others. Gillett uses material arising in the study of philosophy of mind, epistemology, post-modern continental philosophy, and philosophy of language to try to elucidate the nature of psychiatric phenomena involving disorders of thought, perception, emotion, moral sense, and action. Within this framework, a series of chapters analyse important psychiatric disorders such as depression, attention deficiency, autism, schizophrenia, and anorexia. Along the way, Gillett explores the nature of memory and identity; of hysteria and what constitutes rational behaviour; and of what causes us to label someone a psychopath or deviant. This fascinating book will provide readers with important insights into the causes and nature of psychosis. In addition, Gillett's arguments have considerable implications for the way in which we understand and treat people suffering from psychiatric disorders. The Mind and its Discontents will be read by researchers and postgraduate students in a range of academic areas, including psychiatry, bioethics, philosophy of mind, social theory, and clinical psychology. It will also be of considerable interest to practising psychiatrists.

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Professor Grant Gillett is Professor of Biomedical Ethics at the University of Otago School of Medicine. grant.gillett@stonebow.otago.ac.nz

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Grant Gillett
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