My primary research interest area is in the philosophy of psychiatry. I hope to use critical tools from philosophy to provide insight into conceptual issues in psychiatric theory, in a way that can positively impact psychiatric research and practice. Currently, I am working on the prospectus for my dissertation, which will concern the place of pluralism in psychiatry. Most recently, I was working on a project which examines the role of well-being in defining the proper bounds of psychiatric medicine. Before that, I wrote a paper which brought philosophical work on standpoint epistemology, feminist philosophy of science, and epistemic injustice to bear on debates over patient inclusion in the revision process for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). I also have interests in feminist philosophy of science, ethics (especially metaethics, but also bioethics and normative ethics), and pragmatism (particularly Charles Peirce, William James, and Richard Rorty). I hope to explore how these areas of philosophy can inform the philosophy of psychiatry in future work.
The Place of Pluralism in Psychiatry
I recently defended the prospectus for my dissertation project, which will be on the topic of pluralism in psychiatry.
I gave a presentation on this topic (entitled "A Dilemma for Hermeneutical Pluralism in Psychiatry") at the "Philosophically analysing the role of service users in psychiatric research conference" through Lancaster University. A video recording can be accessed here.
The Institutional Definition of Psychiatric Condition and the Role of Well-Being in Psychiatry
A draft version of this paper is available online via the philsci archive.
This paper has been accepted for publication in the PSA 2022 Proceedings Special Issue of Philosophy of Science.
I have presented (or been accepted to present) versions of this project at:
The Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology Conference 2022 as part of a panel entitled "Beyond the Ivory Tower: Practical Consequences of Philosophical Debates about Psychiatry"
The Philosophy Exchange Philosophy of Science Graduate Conference 2022
The 28th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Abstract: This paper draws on Quill Kukla’s “Institutional Definition of Health” to provide a definition of “psychiatric condition” that delineates the proper bounds of psychiatry. I argue that this definition must include requirements that psychiatrization of a condition benefit the well-being of 1) the society as a collective, and 2) the individual whose condition is in question. I then suggest that psychiatry understand individual well-being in terms of the subjective values of individuals. Finally, I propose that psychiatry’s understanding of collective well-being should be the result of a “socially objective” process, and give certain desiderata for this understanding.
Exclusion of Psychopathologized Standpoints Due to Hermeneutical Ignorance Undermines Psychiatric Objectivity
This paper is the winner of the 2022 Karl Jaspers Award from the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry (AAPP).
It is now available in Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology, alongside commentaries by Awais Aftab and Anke Bueter, as well as my response to the commentaries.
You can also listen to me talk about this paper on this episode of the Philosophy Exchange podcast, and read this blogpost that I wrote about it for John's Hopkins University Press.
I have presented versions of this project at:
The "2021" Intermountain Philosophy Conference
The Spring 2022 Tanner Graduate Works in Progress Series at the University of Utah
The 2022 Annual Meeting of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology (SSPP)
The 2022 Annual Meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry (AAPP).
Abstract: This paper brings together considerations from philosophical work on standpoint epistemology, feminist philosophy of science, and epistemic injustice to examine a particular problem facing contemporary psychiatry: the conflict between the conceptual resources of psychiatric medicine and alternative conceptualizations like those of the neurodiversity movement and psychiatric abolitionism. I argue that resistance to fully considering such alternative conceptualizations in processes such as the revision of the DSM emerges in part from a particular form of epistemic injustice (hermeneutical ignorance) leveled against a particular social group (which I call the “psychopathologized”). Further, insofar as the objectivity which psychiatry should aspire to is a kind of “social objectivity” which requires incorporation of various normative perspectives, this particular form of epistemic injustice threatens to undermine its scientific objectivity. Though many questions regarding implementation remain, this implies that psychiatry must grapple substantively with radical reconceptualizations of its domain if it is to achieve legitimate scientific objectivity.