Category Archives: philosophy of psychiatry

Karl Jaspers Award 2018

We are happy to announce that the winner of the 2018 AAPP Karl Jaspers Award is

Awais Aftab, Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Cente, for his paper “Social Misuse of Disorder Designation: Exploring Dysfunction and Harm-Based Conceptual Defenses.”

Honorable mention also goes to Stephen Gadsby, Department of Philosophy, Monash University, for his submission, “Anorexia Nervosa, Delusional Beliefs and Overvalued Ideas.”

The AAPP Jaspers Committee

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.

Psagacity (post by John Sadler)

John Z. Sadler, MD is Director of the Program in Ethics in Science & Medicine and Chief of the Division of Ethics in the Department of Psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Psagacity – “New media for new ideas in the philosophy of psychiatry, clinical psychology, and mental health”

Around 2010 I started conducting high-definition video interviews with key figures in the philosophy/psychiatry/mental health interdisciplinary field.  I was responding to the unexpected death of one of our AAPP founding fathers, Edwin R. “Ned” Wallace IV M.D., realizing that a generation of AAPP innovators had not been documented nor memorialized.  So I began what at the time was a video ‘oral history’ of the philosophy and psychiatry movement, here and in other countries.  I didn’t, and don’t, know much about oral histories, but a friend and historian colleague, Steve Inrig Ph.D., gave me some fundamentals.  When I began almost 5 years ago I didn’t have any destination in mind; I just wanted to get as many of these amazing people on video as I could.

Last year I mentored a psychiatry resident, Luke “Olllie” Mong D.O. for his senior resident research project.  Ollie had longstanding interest in film having been a film major in college, and in our conversations about his project I mentioned this oral history project which was ongoing but as-yet unfulfilled.  Ollie encouraged me and assisted me in developing the video-based website now called Psagacity, the name linking the psych- of psychiatry and psychology with the wisdom of philosophers and philosophy. The site is primarily intended as an online archive of these videos, as they are mostly longer than 45 minutes and likely to be of most interest to aficionados.  The site welcomes people to download, link, or embed these videos elsewhere, for free, as long as credit is given and their use is not profit-generating.

The site, is still a work in progress, with new videos being posted as quickly as I can pin down my subjects and edit the raw video into what you see on the site.  One side of the site features the videos, hosted by Vimeo, the other is a (largely-undeveloped as yet) blog site hosted by Word Press.  Visitors to the site should know that the videos (with the exception of a few videos of lectures from the 2008 INPP Philosophy and Psychiatry meeting in Dallas) are all in high-definition format; users should be aware that a fast, high-bandwidth video connection is required.  I would be delighted to see blog responses on this AAPP blog about ideas discussed on Psagacity!

John Z. Sadler, M.D.