Philosophy, biology and mental disorder



The biological model has become the touchstone for our thinking on mental disorder The success of this model has relegated opposing views to the sidelines Philosophers have been considering the nature of mind for well over 2500 years, and then- speculations may provide a useful antidote to the creeping reductionism and materialism inherent in simple biology The emphasis in philosophical theories is on the nature of the mental and the structuring role of the mind in our construction of reality This paper focuses on three philosophers, Kant, Heidegger and Husserl, and their contribution to our understanding of the nature of psychopathology The biological theory is re-examined from the differing perspectives offered, and some of the assumptions on which it is based are subjected to criticism The emphasis, found in the philosophical theories, on the mental as opposed to the physiological aspects of the mind, is considered to be more germane to the practical and therapeutic concerns of those who must deal with the dis-ease of mental disorder