Wednesday, 3 September 2008


Further to my last round up, (and previous ones, here, here and here), a week after Psychopathology asked, a second journal asked to publish the paper I gave at the German Psychiatric Association (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Nervenheilkunde), ie. a third paper on that same subject area. It seemed plausible, this time, to step back and consider from first principles how one might think that a special kind of ‘individualised’ judgement might be needed for understanding individuals. This is now in production with European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience. I can't help feeling that it will sit uneasily in what is obviously a very medical journal but am impressed by their speed and efficiency. The Psychopathology paper (focusing more on the narrative alternative to idiographic judgement) seems, by contrast, to be languishing in a preproduction limbo.

The issue on Values Based Practice that I have been trying to edit for over a year for Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology is moving towards production, paired with some papers on EBM (for which Gloria Ayob and I wrote a couple of commentaries).

I’ve written a chapter with input from Bill Fulford for a WPA edited book on psychiatric diagnosis (Salloum, I.M and Mezzich, J.E. (eds) (forthcoming) Psychiatric Diagnosis: Patterns and Prospects, Hoboken: Wiley).

My chapter, ‘On the interface problem in philosophy and psychiatry’, is still forthcoming in Lisa Bortolotti and Matthew Broome’s OUP book Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience, some time in 2009, I understand. An eccentric commentary - ‘Constitutive evaluativist externalism (Commentary on Zachar, P. and Kendler, K. (2007) ‘Psychiatric Disorders: A Conceptual Taxonomy’’ - I wrote some time ago for the AAPP is still in limbo. The paper ‘Should comprehensive diagnosis include idiographic understanding?’ is now out with the September issue of Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy 11: 293-302. A joint paper on ‘Understanding, testimony and interpretation in psychiatric diagnosis’ is still in their e-published format.

A very unflattering and I thought rather misleading review of my EPP was published by Christian Perring on his site and, once my annoyance had subsided, I wrote a reply. Strange how depressing such reviews are (and I can't help feeling that the reviewer’s excuse for the caricatures he drew is pretty poor: ie. it’s only a review so it doesn’t have to be accurate).

A couple of other people’s research network bids in which I have an interest have been successful. Matthew Ratcliffe (pictured looking much madder than he really does!) and Tony Atkinson’s AHRC project ‘Emotions and Feelings in Psychiatric Illness’ will organise a workshop-conference series with which I hope to be involved. And there’s a French project organised by Pierre-Henri Castel which will run for a few years and involve a workshop at Uclan.

Finally, I have (with some reluctance because of the loss of freedom for research) just become the head of a reformed philosophy section in a reformed school within Uclan (ISCRI: the International School for Communities, Rights, and Inclusion). Given that the school is the size (only) of a large science department, I aim to remain an academic director of the subject area (hence, eg, Director of Philosophy) rather than the head of an insular mini-department, but will no doubt discover how possible this is.

After the flurry of applied and medically based stuff, I must now return to writing some pure philosophy.