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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Philosophical Psychology

For a Special Issue on
Philosophy and Psychopathology

Manuscript deadline
30 June 2022

Cover image - Philosophical Psychology

Special Issue Editor(s)

Jasper Feyaerts, Department of Psychoanalysis & Clinical Consulting, Ghent University (Belgium) and Center for Contextual Psychiatry, KU Leuven (Belgium)
[email protected]

Rob Sips, Center for Contextual Psychiatry, KU Leuven (Belgium)
[email protected]

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Philosophy and Psychopathology

This special issue will seek to deepen our understanding of the relation between philosophy and psychopathology. Philosophy is often appealed to for the description, explanation, logical analysis, and normative determination of psychopathology – both in general, as well as with respect to particular forms of psychopathology: e.g., psychosis, delusions, autism, obsessions, and dissociative states of consciousness. Yet psychopathology itself might also contribute in clarifying the nature of philosophical activity – for example, the nature of philosophical alienation from ordinary life, philosophical wonder and fascination, radical skepticism, hyper-reflexivity, and detached contemplation.

Philosophy and psychopathology might have more in common than is often assumed. Philosophical reasoning can show remarkable affinities and similarities with patterns in psychopathological experience. In psychopathological experience, traditional philosophical issues can become the explicit object of questioning perplexity and existential concern. Examining this relation might be to the benefit of both: psychopathology may be further clarified and brought into the shared communal space of philosophical discussion as a living voice and a meaningful experience. Philosophy can gain awareness of the nature of its own activity, questions, and concepts by engaging with the radical reflexivity found in psychopathology.

The purpose of this call for papers is to encourage original articles in this area, explaining the different ways in which philosophy can be used to further our understanding of psychopathology, how psychopathology might clarify the nature of philosophical reflection, and in which sense both may resemble each other and how they differ.

Sample research questions include:

  • What is philosophy and what is its value in psychopathological research?
  • What is the role of philosophy in the description, explanation, and normative analysis of psychopathology?
  • What are the similarities and differences between philosophical reflection and various forms of alienation in psychopathology?
  • What role do detachment, wonder, astonishment, phenomenological bracketing, forgetfulness, the natural attitude, and repression play in philosophy and psychopathology?
  • What is the status and role of subjectivity and first-person experience in philosophy and in the analysis of psychopathology?
  • How can psychopathology clarify the nature of philosophical activity?
  • How do philosophy and psychopathology resemble each other with respect to themes like certainty, skepticism, hyper-reflexivity, transcendental reflection, and solipsism?

A number of experts have been invited to contribute. Confirmed contributors include:

  • Wouter Kusters, a Dutch linguist and philosopher with lived experience of psychosis. He is the author of A Philosophy of Madness (MIT Press).
  • Maria Balaska, a philosopher and research fellow at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, and at Åbo Akademi University, Finland. She is the author of the book Wittgenstein and Lacan at the Limit: Meaning and Astonishment (Palgrave).
  • Clara Humpston, research fellow in Youth Health Methodology at the Institute for Mental Health, University of Birmingham, UK. She is the author of various articles focusing on the phenomenology and philosophy of schizophrenia-spectrum psychoses.
  • Stijn Vanheule, a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst and head of the Department of Psychoanalysis & Clinical Consulting at Ghent University, Belgium. He is the author of The Subject of Psychosis: A Lacanian Perspective (Palgrave).
  • Louis Sass, clinical psychologist and distinguished professor at Rutgers University, US. He is the author of Madness and Modernism (Oxford University Press) and The Paradoxes of Delusion: Wittgenstein, Schreber, and the Schizophrenic Mind (Cornell University Press).

Submission Instructions

  • Submitted work will typically be between 5,000 and 8,000 words.
  • Conceptual, empirical, and first-person contributions to a better understanding of the relation between philosophy and psychopathology are all encouraged.
  • Submissions are welcome from researchers at all career stages and from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds as long as the manuscripts contribute to the themes of the call for papers.
  • All submitted manuscripts will be independently reviewed. Once accepted, papers will be published ahead of print on the journal website. The print issue gathering all the accepted contributions to the call for papers is expected to be published in 2023.
  • For queries, please contact Professor Lisa Bortolotti or Professor Jasper Feyaerts.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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