Thursday, 4 February 2010


As well as having been just unaccountably busy for a while now, this academic year I have had one illness after another so there has been little incentive to record any items of housekeeping. But such as they are:

I’ve been invited to spend a bit of time at the University of Paris-Descartes by Pierre-Henri Castel to discuss anglo-american philosophy of psychiatry. I am frantically - but with minimal success so far - trying to revise my O level French.

After the summer, I’ve also been invited back to Paris to a workshop on social neuroscience in October.

Between the two there’s a workshop in Dortmund organised by Logi Gunnarsson on alienation (of whose book I owe a review on this blog).

My third and final paper on idiographic versus nomothetic versus narrative judgement has emerged from pre-production limbo with Psychopathology. I’ve seen a proof! I’ve also seen a proof of the Clinical judgement, expertise and skilled coping paper for the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. And the Szasz portmanteau paper is due out in March.

My co-authored chapter (below) in a substantial and expensive (£125) textbook on psychiatry came out in November but I’ve just had a copy. In the contents list I’m called Tom!

(2009) Fulford, K.W.M. (Bill) and Thornton, T. ‘The role of meanings and values in the history and philosophy of the science of psychiatry’ in Basant Puri, B. and Treasaden, I. Psychiatry – an evidence-based text for the MRCPsych, London: Hodder Arnold, Health Sciences

Perhaps more interesting and certainly more personally gratifying was finding this message on my little used Facebook page which I report (at the risk of sounding even more self-serving than a housekeeping entry already implies) partly to emphasise how pleasurable such one off comments are but also to say that there must be at least two people interested in McDowell in Iran.

I am really glad to see you in Facebook, and first of all, I apologize if my English is not good enough.
I am an Iranian student in philosophy; actually, I graduated with an M.A. in Philosophy-logic, from the university, Allameh Tabatabaie, which is the most prominent university, in Humanities. Your book on John McDowell was the most important resource for me to understand what McDowell’s view is about the Theory of Sense, which was the main theme of my thesis. My thesis had the title “John McDowell on Theory of Sense and Reference” which was the first text about John McDowell’s philosophy (and Dummett’s), in Persian (Farsi) language in Iran, and with lack of resources about new analytic philosophies and philosophers here, finding your book in a library (of an institute of philosophy which is the one among very finite [finest?] institutes in Iran) was a real miracle, because reading McDowell’s papers alone, with no complementary and illustrative texts, was really difficult. I could defend my thesis (last summer) with a really good grade and it was thanks to your book’s help.