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The Philosophy of PsychiatryA Companion$
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Jennifer Radden

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195149531

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195149531.001.0001

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Depression and Mania

(p.36) Chapter 2 AFFECTIVITY
The Philosophy of Psychiatry
Jennifer Radden
Oxford University Press

This chapter examines three different approaches—the moral, medical, and social/political—as they apply to the study of affective disorders (mood disorders). It focuses on clinical depression because of its relation to the historical category of melancholia, which once included almost all known psychiatric categories of illness that presently exist, including cognitive disorders, volitional disorders, and psychotic disorders. It considers a particularly entrenched debate between advocates of the moral and the medical perspectives regarding clinical depression, illustrating this debate by highlighting the current moral and political issues surrounding psychopharmacology. It demonstrates how the social/political approach offers an interesting change of perspective on the significance of melancholia, by moving away from positing personhood and personal identity as the locus of philosophical analyses of psychiatric illness.

Keywords:   affective disorders, clinical depression, melancholia, mood

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