Notable Links and Miscellanea - Sep 29, 2023
Philosophy of Psychiatry webinar series is back for another season.
Daniel Dennett discusses five books that influenced him:
“Some of my colleagues have been comically arrogant in talking to the scientists they know, and so they come off as fussbudget, know-nothing smarty-pants, and they’re ignored. The contempt in which philosophy is held by many scientists is unsettling. It’s something that I’ve had to deal with my whole professional life. I’ve been lucky to find the scientists who recognized that they had philosophical problems they needed help with. It’s been a great joy to see, in the last few decades, the scientists coming around and saying, ‘Let’s see what these philosophers are doing. They seem to be making some progress here. They seem to be able to help us.’ That’s a very good feeling.”
“Descartes’s notion of clear and distinct ideas is the single worst idea to beset philosophy in the last millennium. You don’t know how your thoughts come to you. You are not authoritative about what you mean by what you say. You are not miraculous in your capacity to comprehend. You are only circumstantially better equipped than others to determine what your own words mean. You often betray what’s in your mind by your Freudian slips and your mistakes. You have to abandon that first-person authority view of understanding.”
Self-Diagnosis in Psychiatry and the Distribution of Social Resources — Sam Fellowes — “Accurate diagnosis requires consideration of multiple diagnoses. Sometimes, different diagnoses can overlap with one another and can only be differentiated in subtle and nuanced ways, but particular diagnoses vary considerably in levels of public awareness. As such, an individual may meet the diagnostic criteria for one diagnosis but self-diagnoses with a different diagnosis because it is better known.”
124 prominent researchers signed an open letter about 2 weeks ago making the provocative assertion that the Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness is “pseudoscience.” A lot to discuss here, but I didn’t find the letter very persuasive. See response to the letter on Substack byand comments by Anil Seth on Nautilus.
Results from the RADAR trial have finally been published! I’ll comment on the results in more detail in the coming days. “The RADAR trial found that a gradual reduction over several months in the dose of maintenance antipsychotics in people diagnosed with schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders did not lead to benefits in social functioning and was more likely to lead to relapse than continuing on maintenance treatment.”
Ronald Pies — The Psychodynamics of Psychopharmacology: Reimagining the “Med Check” — Carlat Psychotherapy Report
Julie Rehmeyer — Not in Your Head:
“Even today, doctors routinely use the term “medically unexplained symptom” to imply a psychological origin for a patient’s physiological reports. In UpToDate, a highly respected online guide for evidence-based treatment, a search for “medically unexplained symptoms” reroutes to an entry on somatization in psychiatry. Both the language and the culture of modern medicine systematically nudge some doctors toward the assumption that ambiguous symptoms are psychosomatic; it is a culture we need to change. “As a matter of peculiar professional fact, there is no term that names diagnostic uncertainty without also naming psychological diagnosis,” bioethicist Diane O’Leary and health psychologist Keith Geraghty state in the Oxford Handbook of Psychotherapy Ethics.”
Liam Kofi Bright, Arguments in Philosophy: “… in philosophy good positions are interesting in and of themselves. Good arguments can help that, but they are far from necessary. Often as important as the specific details of why something might be plausible is just the spirit of what is being proposed, what it inspires and the vistas it seems to open up.”
Precision Medicine Has Been Overhyped — interview with James Tabery about his new book Tyranny of the Gene.