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    An approach to the boundary problem: mental health activism and the limits of recognition

    Rashed, Mohammed Abouelleil (2021) An approach to the boundary problem: mental health activism and the limits of recognition. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 28 (4), pp. 297-313. ISSN 1071-6076.

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    Which aspects of our experiences and behaviours are legitimate candidates for medical concepts and responses? For several decades, philosophers of medicine and psychiatry have sought to clarify the boundaries of illness by defining a scientific concept of disorder. This project, which has come to be known as naturalism, has met with considerable difficulties that cast doubt on its approach and presuppositions. The difficulties met in arriving at a naturalistic definition of disorder suggest the need for an alternative approach to the boundary problem. Prompted by engagement with the philosophy of social recognition and with recent developments in mental health activism this paper provides a new approach to the boundary problem. This approach does not operate with the customary concepts of disorder, disease, distress, and dysfunction but with a different set of concepts that bring forth their own boundary conditions and judgements: the concepts of social recognition, social and individual identity, and unity and continuity of self. On the basis of the proposed approach, clarifying the boundary problem is not to be achieved by getting a handle on the definition and limits of the concept of mental disorder, but on understanding the addressees and normative limits of recognition and what this means for a wide range of mental health phenomena.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Mohammed Rashed
    Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2022 06:49
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:12


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