Philosophy and Psychiatry: Lived experience, knowledge and expertise in mental health care

The author will discuss how we should look for a good model for the practice of expertise-by-experience in mental health care by looking at relevant research from the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of science. The lecture in English will be held online (via Zoom) on September 19 at 11 a.m. CEST, Grand Hall of IDN.

Experiential knowledge and expertise-by-experience are increasingly common in mental health care. On the one hand, many people share the intuition that having experienced something firsthand indeed puts one in a unique epistemic perspective. On the other hand, practical problems have emerged with the implementation of experiential knowledge and expertise-by-experience because professionals and other stakeholders in mental health care worry that experiential knowledge is, simply put, ‘vague’.

In philosophy, there are various fields of research that seem directly relevant to clarifying experiential knowledge, but, somewhat surprisingly, these have been largely overlooked by the practical movement of expertise-by-experience in mental health care. In this talk, I will present some recent research that shows the relevance of some of these hitherto neglected debates and fields of research (e.g. philosophy of mind and philosophy of science). On the one hand, I will summarize some criticisms that may be derived from these fields, targeting the idea of experiential knowledge. On the other hand, I will outline a more ‘positive’ alternative model that may form a basis for the practice of expertise-by-experience.

Dr. Roy Dings is a postdoctoral researcher at Radboud University Nijmegen (the Netherlands), where he also obtained his PhD in 2020. Previously, he was a visiting researcher at the University of Memphis (USA) and a postdoctoral researcher at Ruhr University Bochum (Germany). His research targets the intersection of philosophy, psychiatry and psychology. More specifically, his research focuses on (1) self-illness ambiguity, i.e. how the relation between a person and their illness is experienced and/or conceptualized; (2) experiential knowledge in mental health care; (3) the interplay of reflective self-understanding and unreflective agency.

This is the fourth lecture in the "Philosophy and Psychiatry" seminar series organized by the Center for Philosophy at the Institute of Social Sciences.

You can also participate in the discussion via Zoom platform.

Meeting ID: 971 2694 2270
Passcode: 666088