Madness and Mental Health: 2023-4

Beyond Psychiatry: Rethinking Madness Outside Medicine

This lecture in the series Madness and Mental Health is presented by Justin Garson

What is mental health? Can we make sense of psychosis? What’s the connection between mental health and concepts including race & evolution? Explore these questions, among others, through the lens of philosophy at the 2023/4 London Lectures.

Beyond Psychiatry: Rethinking Madness Outside Medicine

Since the 1970s, psychiatry has been in the grip of a paradigm I call ‘madness-as-dysfunction’. In this view, mental disorders happen when something inside the person isn’t working as it should, or is ‘broken.’ In my historical work, I’ve identified an alternate paradigm, which I call ‘madness-as-strategy,’ which sees mental illness in terms of purpose, adaptation and function. Here I contrast these frameworks and outline their implications for research, treatment and stigma.

  • About the speaker

    Justin Garson is professor of philosophy at City University of New York, and author of Madness: A Philosophical Exploration (2022), with Oxford University Press. He is also the author of The Madness Pill: The Quest to Create Insanity and One Doctor’s Discovery that Transformed Psychiatry, forthcoming with St. Martin’s Press.