USS-SWC 2019 – Philosophy and Psychiatry

The 19th Vienna Summer University was held on July 1–12, 2019.


  • Rachel Cooper (Lancaster University)
  • Dominic Murphy (The University of Sydney)
  • Tim Thornton (University of Central Lancashire)
  • Guest lecturer: Raffaella Campaner (Università di Bologna)

Psychiatry raises as many conceptual as empirical questions. The philosophy of psychiatry is a rapidly emerging field which draws broadly on philosophical traditions – centrally analytic philosophy and phenomenology – to address a range of questions as broad as the demands made on psychiatry to address problems of human suffering, distress and disorder. It is also an area where philosophical methods, accounts and theories can be applied to and thus tested against psychiatric and psychopathological phenomena.


  • The concept of mental disorder
  • Psychiatric classification
  • The role of values in psychiatry
  • Social constructionist accounts of disorder
  • The roles of explanation and understanding, including idiographic and narrative understanding in psychiatry delusions
  • Culture bound syndromes
  • Social epistemology
  • Recovery