Recent developments in philosophy of psychopathology

Josef Parnas, Louis A. Sass, Dan Zahavi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Purpose of review To survey recent developments in the English-language philosophy of psychopathology. Recent findings First, we present books - by Gallagher and Zahavi (2008) and by Thompson (2007) - that integrate phenomenology with cognitive science and neuroscience. This is followed by discussion of critical assessments of the DSM-III operational legacy and practical consequences recently offered by various psychiatrists, including Andreasen, Mullen, and Maj. These very bleak assessments are considered in light of certain new trends in explanatory models of psychiatry and associated metaphysical concerns. Finally, we concentrate on the phenomenological approach to schizophrenia, enjoying a renaissance in psychiatric literature. We emphasize the recent work on the issue of self-disorders as a core aspect of psychopathology of schizophrenia and criticize the accuracy of a recent survey (published in this journal) of phenomenological approaches to schizophrenia, thereby rectifying important misunderstandings. Summary The review emphasizes the fundamental importance of philosophy of psychopathology in clarifying concepts, highlighting epistemological problems, and helping to provide adequate distinctions at the phenomenological level for use in empirical research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-584
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • Operationalism
  • Phenomenology
  • Philosophy
  • Psychiatry
  • Schizophrenia
  • Self-disorder
  • Selfhood


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