The Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry




This conference invites papers examining the relationship between mental illness and abnormality and the human capacity for evil. The problem of evil is often categorized as a component of the philosophy of religion, but it also represents a significant problem for a scientific theory of human behavior. The debate about whether evil exists intrinsically within the nature of at least some humans (perhaps all) can only take on scientific and philosophic coherence by reference to the possible origins of evil in abnormal brain function and damaging life experiences. Yet what are the moral and existential implications of a theory of human nature that posits no twisted thought (or action) without a twisted molecule? As theory, psychiatry lacks a moral anchor. As practice, psychiatry proceeds as if the mind-body problem has been resolved in favor of biological reductionism. For example, inclusion of personality disorder categories within the psychiatric nosology and increasingly common decisions favoring use of psychotropic medications to influence socially offensive behaviors seem to carry important implications supporting the "medicalization" of undesirable variants of human behavior, although such implications are not logically entailed. Courtroom and legislative use and acceptance of concepts of irresistible impulse, limited capacity, impaired self-regulation, and the insanity defense must all be philosophically reanalyzed in terms of advances in the neurosciences.

The Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry (AAPP) is requesting submission of abstracts for papers to be presented at the 1999 Annual Meeting, May 15 and 16, 1999, in conjunction with the American Psychiatric Association Meeting in Washington, DC. Papers attending to the theme may include a variety of foci: experimental, theoretical, historical and case-oriented. Submitted abstracts and their corresponding papers may focus on any area of philosophy in psychiatry, but preference will be given to those papers that focus on the conference's theme.

Abstracts should be 600 words or less, and must be accompanied by the author(s) name, mailing address, and telephone number. Please attach a separate cover sheet with the identifying information. This facilitates AAPP's blind review policy. Abstracts must be submitted in triplicate to:

Jerome Kroll, M.D.
Box 393 Mayo
University of Minnesota Medical School
Minneapolis, MN 55455
612-636-6674 (tel)
612-626-5591 (fax) (e-mail)

Submissions must be postmarked by November 30, 1998 to be considered. Incomplete and/or late submissions will be returned to sender. Abstracts will be refereed by members of the AAPP Executive Council and their designees, and acceptances will be mailed no later than January 1, 1999. Authors with accepted abstracts will read the corresponding papers at the 1999 Annual Meeting. Accepted papers should be of length to present within a strict 30-minute time limit.

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Last Modified  September 11, 1998