Organised by the Department of Philosophy and the Institute of Mental Health Research at York (IMRY).
In his great Anatomy of Melancholy (1623), Burton aims to preserve ancient, medieval, and renaissance medical knowledge and lore about the disordered states of thought and mood known as Melancholy. This includes a close explication of classical writing about delusions - cognitive states that even today lack a definitive explanation within the sciences of mind. In one of his most insightful and closely reasoned topics, Burton brings Hippocratic aphorisms, Aristotelian faculty psychology about the imagination, the medieval Arab thinker Avicenna, and later renaissance doctors such as Du Laurens to bear as he tries to encapsulate past understanding of the puzzling symptoms associated with delusional thought, and speculates about earlier theorizing. These ideas, and some of their obvious links to work on delusions within today’s philosophy, psychiatry and cognitive psychology are the subject of this talk.
Attendees are welcome to attend a drinks reception following this talk.
About the speaker
Jennifer Radden is now retired from teaching after a career in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. With a background in philosophy and psychology, she has been actively involved in the emergence of Philosophy of Psychiatry as a research field, publishing on mental health concepts, the history of medicine, and ethical and policy aspects of psychiatric theory and practice. Normative issues surrounding anorexia nervosa are her current focus.
Other particular research addresses self and responsibility concepts in relation to mental disorder, and the history of melancholy and depression. Among her recent publications are the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Mental Disorder, a monograph on Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy as mind science (Oxford 2017), and a co-edited volume (with Kelso Cratsley) on ethical issues arising from public health approaches to mental health (Elsevier 2019).