Grant Gillett, The Mind and its Discontents, 2nd Edition (Oxford UP)
The first edition of The Mind and its Discontents was a powerful analysis of how, as a society, we view mental illness. In the ten years since the first edition, there has been a growing interest in the philosophy of psychiatry, and a new edition of this text is more timely and important than ever. InThe Mind and its Discontents, Grant Gillett argues that an understanding of mental illness requires more than just 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. Drawing upon work from within the philosophy of mind, epistemology, post-modern continental philosophy, and philosophy of language, he tries to elucidate the nature of psychiatric phenomena involving disorders of thought, perception, emotion, moral sense, and action. Within this framework, a series of chapters analyze 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 behavior, and of what causes us to lavel someone a psychopath or deviant.