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  • Bielefeld colloquium in philosophy of psychiatry

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Bielefeld Colloquium in Philosophy of Psychiatry

We meet every two to three weeks to discuss classics, recent and our own work in the philosophy of psychiatry. We focus on issues within the philosophy of science as well as conceptual and metaphysical issues. The colloquium is mainly attended by MA students, Ph.D. students, and faculty members. But everyone (including BA students and professors) is welcome to join. If you are interested, please get in touch with Fabian Hundertmark.

This semester we meet on Thursdays at 12:00. You may either join us in the X-building in room A4-113 or via Zoom:
Meeting ID: 694 5822 2719
Passcode: Zachar

What we are currently doing
Book cover: Peter Zachar - A metaphysics of psychopathology

Currently, we are reading "A metaphysics of psychopathology" by Peter Zachar (2015). In this book, Zachar addresses the question of what it means when mental disorders are called "real", "true", or "objective".

24.02.2022 Alfredo Gaete The concept of mental disorder: A proposal
24.3.2022 Fabian Hundertmark What is a mental disorder? (Project Draft)
7.4.2022 Peter Zachar A metaphysics of psychopathology, Chapter 1
19.4.2022 (Tuesday!) Peter Zachar A metaphysics of psychopathology, Chapter 2 & 3
5.5.2022 Peter Zachar A metaphysics of psychopathology, Chapter 4
16.6.2022 Peter Zachar A metaphysics of psychopathology, Chapter 8 & 9
presumably on 30.6.2022 tba (guest?)  
presumably on 14.7.2022 tba (guest?)  

Winter term 2021/2022

Cover: Philosophy of Psychiatry by Jonathan Tsou

In the winter term 2021/2022, we discussed the book "Philosophy of Psychiatry" by Jonathan Tsou. Tsou addresses basic questions of the philosophy of psychiatry, such as whether there are mental illnesses (yes), what mental illnesses are (biological kinds with harmful effects), whether there are natural kinds in psychiatry (yes), whether the DSM allows valid psychiatric classification (no).

Afterward, we discussed the work of Dr. Sanja Dembić (HU Berlin), who argues that individuals have a mental disorder when they are incapable of responding to reasons in their actions, beliefs, and emotions and when this inability is harmful. In the last session, we had Dr. Sanja Dembić as a guest and discussed an unpublished paper with her.

Summer term 2021

In the summer term of 2021, we explored and discussed many different topics in the philosophy of psychiatry. For example, we dealt with definitions of "mental disorder", the biopsychosocial model, psychodelics, personality disorders, consciousness, autonomy and psychoanalysis.

At the end of the semester, we invited JProf. Lena Kästner (Univerisität des Saarlandes) to discuss her paper "Identifying Causes in Psychiatry".

Dr. Fabian Hundertmark

Picture of Fabian Hundertmark (smiling with headphones)
  • Philosophy of psychiatry
  • Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of mind
  • Philosophy of biology

My Project

What is a mental disorder? My project aims to answer this basic question of the philosophy of psychiatry. Crucial to answering it is the observation, that there are actually two related questions. On the one hand, there is the conceptual question of when a person is mentally disordered. On the other hand, there is the classification question of what constitutes types of mental disorders. This distinction allows me to reject naturalistic answers to the conceptual question without denying their relevance to the classification question.

This research is carried out as part of the project “Complex Biological Dispositions: A Case Study in the Metaphysics of Biological Practice” (2020-2023) and is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). It is a subproject in “Inductive Metaphysics” (FOR 2495).

For more information click here.

David Lambert

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  • Philosophy of psychiatry
  • General philosophy of science
  • Feminist philosophy of science

In October 2021, I started working on my dissertation as a member of the graduate school 2073 on a topic in philosophy of psychiatry. Contemporary philosophy of science predominantly endorses some scientific pluralism as a default position. Research in psychiatry with its practical character serves as an exemplary field with respect to which I aim to give a positive, normative account of which pluralist stance to endorse relative to the objects of interests of research (theories, models, explanations, classifications, ontologies etc.), given its epistemic and non-epistemic aims.


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