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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

When Philosophy Meets Psychiatry

By D. D. Guttenplan
The New York Times
Originally published August 11, 2013

Here is an excerpt:

“We started out as a reading group for trainee psychiatrists,” said Gareth S. Owen, a researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry who co-founded the group in 2002. “Then, gradually, we developed and started inviting philosophers — at first it was quite low key. We would talk about our clinical experiences and then they would relate those experiences to their way of thinking.”

Robert Harland, another co-founder of the group, said he had known Dr. Owen since they “cut up a corpse together at medical school.”

“The analytic philosophers brought a real clarity to our discussions,” Dr. Harland said. “We were looking at various models to help us understand what we were doing as psychiatrists.

“There is lots of applied science now in psychiatry: neuroimaging, genetics, epidemiology. But they don’t have much to say about sitting with a patient and trying to understand that person’s experiences.”

The entire story is here.
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