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The Philosophy of Psychiatry and Biologism

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193547 Year: Pages: 99 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-354-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:32
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There has been an ongoing debate about the capabilities and limits of the bio-natural sciences as sources and the methodological measure in the philosophy of psychiatry for quite some time now. Still, many problems remain unsolved, at least partly for the following reasons: The opposing parties do not tend to speak with each other, exchange their arguments and try to increase mutual understanding. Rather, one gets the impression that they often remain in their “trenches”, busy with confirming each others' opinions and developing their positions in isolation. This leads to several shortcomings: (1) Good arguments and insights from both sides of the debate get less attention they deserve. (2) The further improvement of each position becomes harder without criticism, genuinely motivated by the opposing standpoint. (3) The debate is not going to stop, at least not in the way it would finish after a suggested solution finds broad support; (4) Related to this, insisting on the ultimate aptnessof one side is just plainly wrong in almost every case. Since undeniably, most philosophical positions usually have a grain of truth hidden in them. In sum, many controversies persist with regard to the appropriate methodological, epistemological, and even ontological level for psychiatric explanation and therapies. In a conference which took place in December last year, we tried to contribute to a better understanding about what really is at issue in the philosophy of psychiatry. We asked for a common basis for several sides, for points of divergence and for the practical impact of different solutions on everyday work in psychiatry. Since psychiatry as a whole is a subject that is to wide to be covered in a single meeting, we focused on the following four core topics: 1.Competing accounts of psychiatric biologism, reductionism, and physicalism. 2.Mental disease and brain disease in the light of current neuroscientific and epigenetic findings. 3.Normative suppositions for different accounts of mental disease. 4.Normative implications of different accounts of mental disease. These topics, which have been vigorously as well as fruitfully discussed at our conference, will (ideally) be, too, in the center of our contribution to Frontiers. More precisely, we think of arranging a “research topic” which assembles the issues of the conference. At this point, it seems promising to us to group three or four Target Articles (TA) and let them get criticized by a couple of commentaries from different angles to give the issue a much broader and detailed perspective.

Habits: Plasticity, learning and freedom

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196739 Year: Pages: 148 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-673-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-16 10:34:25
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In present times, certain fields of science are becoming aware of the necessity to go beyond a restrictive specialization, and establish an open dialogue with other disciplines. Such is the case of the approach that neuroscience and philosophy are performing in the last decade. However, this increasing interest in a multidisciplinary perspective should not be understood, in our opinion, as a new phenomenon, but rather as a return to a classical standpoint: a proper understanding of human features –organic, cognitive, volitional, motor or behavioral, for example– requires a context that includes the global dimension of the human being. We believe that grand neuroscientific conclusions about the mind should take into account what philosophical reflection has said about it; likewise, philosophers should consider the organic constitution of the brain to draw inferences about the mind. Thus, both neuroscience and philosophy would benefit from each other’s achievements through a fruitful dialogue. One of the main problems a multidisciplinary group encounters is terminology: the same term has a different scope in various fields, sometimes even contradictory. Such is the case of habits: from a neuroscientific perspective, a habit is a mere automation of an action. It is, therefore, linked to rigidity and limitation. However, from a classical philosophical account, a habit is an enabling capacity acquired through practice, which facilitates, improves and reinforces the performance of certain kind of actions. From neuroscience, habit acquisition restricts a subject’s action to the learnt habit; from philosophy, habit acquisition allows the subject to set a distance from the simple motor performance to cognitively enrich the action. For example, playing piano is a technical habit; considering the neuroscientific account, a pianist would just play those sequences of keystrokes that had been repeatedly practiced in the past. However, according to the philosophical perspective, it would allow the pianist to improvise and, moreover, go beyond the movements of their hands to concentrate in other features of musical interpretation. In other words, a holistic view of habits focuses on the subject’s disposition when facing both known and novel situations. We believe neuroscience could contribute to achieve a deeper understanding of the neural bases of habits, whose complexity could be deciphered by a philosophical reflection. Thus, we propose this Research Topic to increase our understanding on habits from a wide point of view. This collection of new experimental research, empirical and theoretical reviews, general commentaries and opinion articles covers the following subjects: habit learning; implicit memory; computational and complex dynamical accounts of habit formation; practical, cognitive, perceptual and motor habits; early learning; intentionality; consciousness in habits performance; neurological and psychiatric disorders related to habits, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, stereotypies or addiction; habits as enabling or limiting capacities for the agent.

The Clinical and Ethical Practice of Neuromodulation - Deep Brain Stimulation and Beyond

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889453733 Year: Pages: 84 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-373-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-11-16 17:17:57
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euromodulation is among the fastest-growing areas of medicine, involving many diverse specialties and affecting hundreds of thousands of patients with numerous disorders worldwide. It can briefly be described as the science of how electrical, chemical, and mechanical interventions can modulate the nervous system function. A prominent example of neuromodulation is deep brain stimulation (DBS), an intervention that reflects a fundamental shift in the understanding of neurological and psychiatric diseases: namely as resulting from a dysfunctional activity pattern in a defined neuronal network that can be normalized by targeted stimulation. The application of DBS has grown remarkably and more than 130,000 patients worldwide have obtained a DBS intervention in the past 30 years—most of them for treating movement disorders. This Frontiers Research Topics provides an overview on the current discussion beyond basic research in DBS and other brain stimulation technologies. Researchers from various disciplines, who are working on broader clinical, ethical and social issues related to DBS and related neuromodulation technologies, have contributed to this research topic.

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