Workship on Responsibility and Mental Disorder

Guest post from Josh May

Do people deserve less blame (or praise) for actions that arise from their mental disorder? A workshop on such issues will be held on March 23 and 24 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, organized by Matt King and Josh May.

While there is some work that touches on the significance of mental illness to responsibility, and a few extended treatments of particular disorders, this only scratches the surface. Most of the research has been on the appropriateness of blame for individuals with psychopathy or those grappling with addiction, which excludes a wide variety of other rather different psychopathologies. This workshop seeks to expand the conversation and push the research in new directions.

Nomy Arpaly (Brown University)
Justin Clarke-Doane (Columbia University)
Anneli Jefferson (King’s College London)
Lauren Olin (University of Missouri, St. Louis)
David Shoemaker (Tulane University)
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (Duke University)
Chandra Sekhar Sripada (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
Kathryn Tabb (Columbia University)
Natalia Washington (Washington University in St. Louis)

More details are available here:

If you’re able to travel to Birmingham and would like to attend, email your RSVP to: and There’s no registration fee.


Potter’s The Virtue of Defiance and Psychiatric Engagement reviewed by Pouncey.

Review – The Virtue of Defiance and Psychiatric Engagement
by Nancy Nyquist Potter
Oxford University Press, 2016
Review by Claire Pouncey, MD, PhD
Metapsychology, Apr 25th 2017 (Volume 21, Issue 17)

Karl Jaspers Award 2017

We are happy to announce that the winner of the 2017 AAPP Karl Jaspers Award is

Will Davies, for his paper “Social Explanation in Psychiatry.”

The paper was submitted when Davies was a postdoctoral research fellow in philosophy at the University of Oxford. He is now a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Birmingham.

The paper is available on his website.

AAPP 2016 Meeting Schedule, May 14-15, Atlanta

Date: May 14-15, 2016

Location: Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel, M303-304
265 Peachtree Center Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30303

Program Chairs: Serife Tekin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Daemen College; Amherst, NY; Peter Zachar, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology , Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Auburn University Montgomery, Montgomery, AL


Saturday, May 14, 2016

8:30 Welcome to AAPP 2016
Claire Pouncey – President

Session 1: Moderator Ginger Hoffman

8: 40 RDoC: Out of the fire and into the frying pan?
Robyn Bluhm
9:00 Discussion

9:10 Handwaving at validity – Can we measure psychological constructs?
Claire Pouncey
9:30 Discussion

9:40 RDoC and the problem of normativity: conceptual analysis vs. philosophy of biology
Reiner Schuur
10:00 Discussion

10:00 BREAK

Session 2: Moderator Christian Perring

10: 15 Announcement of Jaspers Award Winners
Christian Perring

10:25 Letting many flowers bloom: the importance of methodological pluralism in the study of mental illness
Brent Kious
10:45 Discussion

Moderator – Peter Zachar

11:00 Neurocentrism: implications for conceptualizations of mental disorder
11:40 Discussion

12:00 LUNCH

Session 3: Moderator Aaron Kostko

1:30 Extended mental disorder: worries for reductionism
Rachel Cooper
1:50 Discussion

2:00 Psychopathy and science
Emma Satloff-Bedrick & Jeff Bedrick
2:20 Discussion

2:30 BREAK

2:45 On the ethics of description in psychiatric nosology from DSM to RDoC
Kathryn Tabb
3:05 Discussion

3:15 The normal, the pathological, and RDoC: what about race and gender?
Doug Porter
3:35 Discussion

3:45 BREAK

Session 4: Moderator Jessica Wahman

4:00 Attachment within the RDoC: promising ‘biomarkers’ carrying deceptively complex conceptual baggage
Kevin Keith
4:20 Discussion

4:30 Keep calm and embrace futility
Alexander Parker
4:50 Discussion

Sunday May 15, 2016

Session 5: Moderator J. J. Rasimus

9:00 The explanatory importance of levels and mechanisms
Kelso Cratsley

9:20 Discussion

9:30 Should psychiatric nosology be constrained by underlying causal mechanisms?
Nicolaus Slouthouber
9:50 Discussion

10:00 Missing the middle: psychosis and temporal lobe epilepsy
Valerie Hardcastle
10:20 Discussion

10:30 BREAK

Session 6: Moderator Michael B. First

10:45 RDoC’s special kind of reductionism and its possible impact on clinical psychiatry
Simon Goyer and Luc Faucher
11:05 Discussion

11:05 Hempel’s account of psychiatric taxonomy: its historical and contemporary interest
Jon Tsou
11:25 Discussion

11:45 LUNCH

Moderator – Serife Tekin
1:15 Facts and Myths about RDoC
Uma Vaidyanathan
1:55 Discussion

2:15 BREAK

Session 7: Moderator Robyn Bluhm

2:30 Scientism and the enlightenment split
Nikola Andonovski
2:50 Discussion

3:00 Outcome measures in schizophrenia research
Phoebe Friesen
3:20 Discussion

3:30 BREAK

Session 8 Moderator Jeff Bedrick

3:40 What is a diagnostic error in psychiatry?
Dany Lamothe and Mona Gupta
4:00 Discussion

4:10 What does it mean to have a meaning problem? meaning, control, and the mechanisms of change in psychotherapy Garsen Leder
4:30 Discussion

4:40 Closing Remarks
Serife Tekin