Full title: Psychiatry Beyond Scientism: Exploratory Models, Professional Practices, and Socio-cultural Contexts
January 22-24, 2015
VU University Amsterdam
This international three-day conference investigates the role and nature of knowledge in psychiatry, both as a scientific discipline and as a professional practice. It aims to create a platform for an in-depth philosophical discussion on different forms of theoretical knowledge (e.g., statistical, molecular, genetic, psychological, social) and their interrelatedness, what happens when these forms of knowledge are applied in psychiatric practice, and how they are translated to and received by the general public. The conference is part of a broader research project, titled ‘Science beyond Scientism’. In general terms, scientism is the claim that only science can provide us with knowledge about ourselves and the world around us. In the context of psychiatry, this manifests itself most clearly in the tension between theoretical knowledge acquired in a scientific setting and practical knowledge applied to the concrete cases in the consultation room. The aim of the conference is to investigate this tension, and explore how scientific knowledge can be integrated with other sources of knowledge, such as practical understanding, expertise, experience, intuition and wisdom.
There is a call for papers and posters on:
1) Models of explanation in psychiatry
2) Psychiatry as normative practice
3) Psychiatry in the public context
Abstracts by November 1, 2014
Note: Much bad practice in psychiatry has stemmed from scientism; for example crackpot theoretical explanations of mental troubles and/or claims that high doses of medications can simply fix them. Not all theory is wrong, and medications frequently help, but medicine has always been as much an art as a science. Scientism tends to cause overreliance on theory.
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