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A Relational Theory of Mental Illness – Lacking Identity and Solidarity with Others

Thaddeus Metz orcid id ; University of Pretoria, Department of Philosophy 20–10, Humanities Building, Private Bag X20, Hatfield, ZA–0028 Pretoria

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 368 Kb

str. 65-81

preuzimanja: 248


Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 368 Kb

str. 80-80

preuzimanja: 113


Puni tekst: njemački pdf 368 Kb

str. 81-81

preuzimanja: 62


Puni tekst: francuski pdf 368 Kb

str. 81-81

preuzimanja: 74



In this paper, I aim to progress towards the philosophical goal of ascertaining what, if anything, all mental illnesses have in common, attempting to unify a large sub-set of those with a relational or interpersonal dimension. One major claim is that, if we want a promising theory of mental illness, we must go beyond the dominant western accounts of mental illness/health, which focus on traits intrinsic to a person such as pain/pleasure, lethargy/ liveliness, fragmentation/integration, and falsehood/authenticity. A second major claim is that the relational facets of mental illness are plausibly understood theoretically in terms of a person’s inability to identify with others or exhibit solidarity with them, relational values salient in the African philosophical tradition. I show that these two extrinsic properties explain several intuitive instances of mental illness well, including, amongst several others, being abusive, psychopathic, narcissistic, histrionic, paranoid, and phobic.

Ključne riječi

intrinsic, extrinsic, mental health, mental illness, neurosis, philosophy of psychology, relational disorders, relational values

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