The Future Is Political and Transdisciplinary

This article by Dr. Awais Aftab has been published in Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology – the official journal of the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry (AAPP). It describes the journal’s aims and general content, and sets out the reasons for its creation:

“PHILOSOPHY, PSYCHIATRY, & PSYCHOLOGY (PPP) is a transdisciplinary oasis, one of the few journals in mental health care that facilitate a meaningful dialogue between philosophers, psychiatrists, psychologists, and scholars from related disciplines. The fact that PPP successfully provides such a space is of no small importance, especially from my perspective as a psychiatrist. The multidisciplinary nature of the undertaking has been a central aspect of the identity of the journal from the very beginning. PPP has maintained this transdisciplinary inclusive spirit over the years, and its editorial and advisory boards remain richly representative, but the challenge of ensuring continued participation of clinicians is not insubstantial. After all, the point is not token participation, but a robust and transformative interdisciplinary engagement. Clinicians have much to contribute to philosophical debates, however, such capacity for dialogue requires sustained cultivation (Aftab & Waterman, 2021), and forces in medical education have led to a situation where comparatively fewer psychiatrists have the interest or the ability to engage in such rigorous dialogue with philosophers. Philosophy of mental health has grown and specialized exponentially since the mid-90s. Keeping up with this literature is difficult even for philosophers, it is no small feat for full-time clinicians.

This means that PPP and its affiliate organizations have a responsibility to take a more active role in supporting educational initiatives to ensure that future generations of psychiatric clinicians are able to contribute to philosophical debates, and that philosophy of psychiatry does not become divorced from clinical and practical concerns. My advice to clinicians based on my experience would be two-fold: first, it is essential to acquire a basic familiarity with the philosophy of psychiatry literature. Aftab and Waterman (2021) offer a sample list of reading recommendations. At the time of this writing, the International Network for Philosophy and Psychiatry is also undertaking efforts to develop curricula aimed at clinicians. Second, it is important to find ways to interact with others in the philosophy of psychiatry community. Formal avenues to do so include the annual meetings of the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry and the Philosophy Special Interest Group of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, among others. There are also various online communities active on social media that many find helpful ..”

You can read more from here.

You can see the full list of journal editions (dating back to 1994) from here.

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