Consciousness and Psychopathology

Authored by: Rocco J. Gennaro

The Routledge Handbook Of Consciousness

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138936218
eBook ISBN: 9781315676982
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter reviews the interdisciplinary field sometimes called “philosophical ­psychopathology” (Graham and Stephens 1994), which is also related to “philosophy of psychiatry” (Fulford, Thornton, and Graham 2006). I’ll focus first on various psychopathologies with special attention to how they negatively impact and distort conscious experience, such as amnesia, somatoparaphrenia, schizophrenia, visual agnosia, autism, and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Many of them are disorders of “self” or “self-awareness” which force us to consider related philosophical problems, such as the problem of personal identity. There are of course many other abnormal conditions not discussed in this chapter. I’ll then discuss “philosophy of psychiatry,” covering the overlapping topics of psychopathy, mental illness, and moral responsibility. In addition to the work of philosophers, recent interest is also due to the accessible writings of neurologists, most notably Oliver Sacks (starting with his 1987 book), Todd Feinberg (2001), and V.S. Ramachandran (2004). One of the results is the important interdisciplinary interest that has been generated among philosophers, psychologists, and scientists. 1

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