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Virtual Campus

Shared Interests of Philosophy & Mental Health

On Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday evenings of 7 - 9 April  and 14 - 16 April 2014 From  18:00 to 20:30

Venue: 215 Orion Avenue, Waterkloof Ridge, Pretoria

Mon, 7 April 2014, 18:00 - 20.30
What can philosophy do for mental health & vice versa? The Concepts of Mental Illness and Philosophy;

What is philosophy? What is psychiatry? What is mental illness? Prejudice and stigmatization of philosophy and mental health. Empirical and conceptual approaches to questions in mental health. Concepts of disorder. Anti-psychiatry and the debate about mental illness. What can philosophy do? 


Tue, 8 April 2014, 18:00 - 20.30
The Philosopher’s Toolkit for the Health Practitioner

Analytic, synthetic, and interpretative methods. Description and revision. Reasoning and arguments. Similarities and differences. Kinds of definitions and usage of concepts. Distinction between use and definition of concepts in the debate about mental illness. Necessary, sufficient, and contingent conditions. Deductive and inductive reasoning. What counts as a valid, sound, & cogent argument? Kinds of arguments. Strengths and weaknesses of arguments. Mistaken arguments.


Wed, 9 April 2014, 18:00 - 20.30
Connections between Mental Health, Philosophical Research and Linguistics

Worthy topics and sensible questions. Differences and similarities in research and writing between ordinary mental health research and philosophy when it comes to making claims, the usage of literature, research processes, structuring of writing, and writing introductions and conclusions. Constraints on content and goals of form in writing. Formal and informal Logic. Conjunction and disjunction. Conditionals. Implication and entailment. Semantics, syntax and pragmatics. Sense and reference. Functions, relations, and concepts. Applications in mental health. 


Mon, 14 April 2014, 18:00 - 20.30
Philosophical History of Mental Disorder

Moral and scientific explanations of mental disorder through the ages. Aristotle, Plato and the Stoics; Medieval minds and spirits. Renaissance, reformation and witchcraft. Incarceration and moral therapies. The first biological phase and Karl Jaspers.

Tue, 15 April 2014, 18:00 - 20.30
Phenomenology and Mental Disorder

Jaspers' psychopathology; form and content; explanation and understanding; objective and subjective knowledge; subdivisions of psychopathology (perception, belief, thought and self­-awareness). Existentialism and hermeneutics. Relevance of phenomenology and existentialism in everyday clinical practice


Wed, 16 April 2014, 18:00 - 20.30
Delusions & Hallucinations: Philosophical Sophistication brings about better Clinical Skills
What are delusions, hallucinations, and psychosis? Are all delusions and hallucinations psychotic experiences? Which symptoms and experiences may be confused with these?


Reserve your place at [email protected]


Enquiries: Professor CW (Werdie) van Staden

Head: Division of Philosophy & Ethics of Mental Health

School of Medicine, University of Pretoria

[email protected]

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