Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences

Official Journal of Crossing Dialogues

Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences

The official journal of Crossing Dialogues

Volume 10, Issue 2 (December 2017)

ORIGINAL ARTICLES

The Effects of Reductive Physicalism within the Field of Mental Healthcare


Ana K. Diaz & Joy C. Honea

Over the past three decades, psychological distress has increasingly come to be explained in neurobiological terms by both mental health professionals and the general public. Disorders like major depression are now most commonly understood to be symptoms of some, as of yet unidentified, biochemical or neurological disturbance in the brain and thus treatment often focuses exclusively on the pharmacological without being inclusive of psychotherapeutic options.
This etiological claim rests on the same assumptions as does reductive physicalism within philosophy. Understanding this paradigm, as it appears in philosophy, can potentially play an important role in informing the debate over how best to understand and ease mental suffering. In particular, by critiquing reductive physicalism and identifying the importance of nuanced understandings of complex phenomena, philosophers can aid mental health practitioners and policy makers in developing more robust, holistic approaches to mental healthcare.

Keywords:
biomedical model, mental illness, psychiatry, psychological distress, treatment, medicalization, philosophy, physicalism

Dial Phil Ment Neuro Sci 2017; 10(2): 41-52

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Received on May 18, 2017
Accepted on September 07, 2017
Firstly published online on January 17, 2018

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