0
Get Alert
Please Wait... Processing your request... Please Wait.
You must sign in to sign-up for alerts.

Please confirm that your email address is correct, so you can successfully receive this alert.

1
Letter to the Editor   |    
Explanatory Pluralism and Patchy Reductionism
WILLIAM G. CAMPBELL, C.C.F.P., M.D.; KEITH I. PEARCE, F.R.C.P., M.D.
Am J Psychiatry 2005;162:2401-a-2401. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.162.12.2401-a

To the Editor: The concept of mental first-person experiences is not as irrevocably grounded as Dr. Kendler suggested. He maintained the solipsism of the individual, ignoring Wittgenstein’s concept of language as a tool that individuals use to interact with the environment (1). Wittgenstein noted that language and action produced by thought are a means of producing an empathic relationship between the first and second person. Psychiatrically, this empathic interaction results in a phenomenological psychopathology, a process that is vital to the practice of psychiatry.

Dr. Kendler avoided the basic problem psychiatry faces, which is, what is a mental state? In so doing, he leaves any potential framework hanging in limbo, maintaining the gulf between the mind and the brain. Dr. Kendler did not mention intentionality, which Brentano noted in 1874 (2) as characterizing "the mental." The concept of intentional causality associated with meaning and belief and the nonintentional associated with chemical and physical law-like relationships can provide an acceptable explanation of mental function. The mind can then be explained in a framework of dynamic intentional and nonintentional causal processes in which top-down and bottom-up causality can explain all mental functions and dysfunctions, from molecular interactions to the higher-level intentional processes that produce consciousness.

Wittgenstein L: Philosophical Investigations. London, Prentice-Hall International, 1958
 
Brentano F: Psychology From an Empirical Standpoint (1874). Edited and translated by Kraus O. New York, Routledge, 1973
 
+

References

Wittgenstein L: Philosophical Investigations. London, Prentice-Hall International, 1958
 
Brentano F: Psychology From an Empirical Standpoint (1874). Edited and translated by Kraus O. New York, Routledge, 1973
 
+
+

CME Activity

There is currently no quiz available for this resource. Please click here to go to the CME page to find another.
Submit a Comments
Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discertion of APA editorial staff.

* = Required Field
(if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
Example: John Doe



Related Content
Books
Dulcan's Textbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry > Chapter 39.  >
Textbook of Psychotherapeutic Treatments > Chapter 29.  >
Dulcan's Textbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry > Chapter 10.  >
Textbook of Traumatic Brain Injury, 2nd Edition > Chapter 4.  >
Dulcan's Textbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry > Chapter 10.  >
Psychiatric News