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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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Neurobiological Models

Neurobiological Models

An Unnecessary Divide— Neural Models in Psychiatry

The Philosophy of Psychiatry
Jennifer Radden
Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at examples of biological approaches to understanding two mental disorders: schizophrenia and addiction. It shows that biological models in psychiatry depend on an implicit concept referred to as “soma”. Soma is what holds together biological psychiatry's conception of the body—an overarching conception of the kind of thing a body is. As such, it sets the agenda for psychiatric research on bodies: given that the body is such and such kind of thing, psychiatrists expect to find these other kinds of things as part of the body or related to it. It is argued that soma functions in a manner analogous to a Sellarsian Given. As a result, it also suffers the problems of the Given. Biological psychiatry would do better to approach soma in a different way, thereby opening a genuine place for the mind in neural explanations.

Keywords:   biological psychiatry, biological models, schizophrenia, addiction, soma, Sellars, the Given

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