Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience


In the words of Mary Warnock, The Observer, 22 November 2009:

"It is a collection of very varied essays on subjects such as the nature of mental illness, whether psychiatry is a science, and why so-called personality disorder can't be treated, all matters of great interest in themselves, but also of relevance to criminal law and sentencing policy. Despite its title, it is a gripping read."

Review by DS Stoyanov, Metapsychology Online, 17th November 2009:

Extract: "From my perspective this is the decisive contribution of Matthew Broome and Lisa Bortolotti to the debate in philosophy of science and psychiatry: their focus on the supreme importance of coherent dialogue at the intersection of the disciplines focusing on mental health and disorder."

Review by MJ Schrift, Occupational Medicine 59 (2009).

Extract: "Written and edited by a group of internationally recognized researchers on the cognitive neuroscience of psychopathology, this book is an outstanding summary of the contemporary issues in the study of mind, brain, and phenomenology. [...] It is an essential reading for those involved in the understanding of mind and brain."

Review by P Zachar, Psychological Medicine (Jan 2010).

Extract: "Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience is a collection of consistently high quality chapters addressing a variety of conceptual issues regarding the role that the cognitive neurosciences can play in psychiatry. Best described as a work of interdisciplinary philosophy, the book has a broader appeal than it would were it primarily an attempt to construe scientific psychiatry as a type of cognitive neuroscience."

Review by A Cavanna, S Shah and H Rickards, Cognitive Neuropsychiatry (June 2010).

Extract: "Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience: Philosophical Perspectives, edited by Matthew R. Broome and Lisa Bortolotti, two of the most talented thinkers in the fields of theoretical psychiatry and philosophy of cognitive science, is an absorbing and thorough philosophical analysis of how psychopathology is studied in psychiatry and psychology through the paradigms of cognitive neuroscience and cognitive neuropsychiatry. This multi-authored book beautifully covers a wide range of topics, including the nature of psychiatry as a science, the nature of mental illness, the reconciliation of neuroscience with clinical psychiatry, and moral responsibility in conditions such as dissociative disorders."

Review by J Callender, British Journal of Psychiatry (July 2010).

Extract: "Matthew Broome and Lisa Bortolotti have assembled a stellar cast of contributors to this volume. They bring together philosophy and neuroscience in an attempt to give an account of psychopathology that is more detailed and penetrating than the standard descriptions and definitions. The quality of the writing and analysis is uniformly excellent without becoming inaccessible to a clinical readership. The combination of rigorous conceptual analysis and neuroscience will take psychiatry in new directions in future years. This book offers an important route map to that future."

Review by M Marraffa, Philosophical Psychology (2012).

Extract: "Psychiatry as cognitive neuroscience is well worth reading for anyone interested in psychiatry and its philosophy. Some of its papers are empirically informed philosophy at its best; and they make an important step forward towards a psychiatry more free of the antinomies that have haunted it since its inception."


Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience: Philosophical Perspectives is a collection of papers which addresses the status of psychiatry as a science. Contributors include leading experts in philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, psychiatry, psychology, cognitive neuroscience, phenomenology, ethics and moral psychology.

Some of the issues addressed are whether explanation in psychiatry can be tackled satisfactorily by neuroscientific investigation, and whether an interdisciplinary approach is necessary to gain a full understanding of a variety of psychiatric conditions (e.g. addiction, depression, delusions, anosognosia, obsessive thoughts, personality disorders).


Introduction - Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience: An Overview. MR Broome and L Bortolotti.

Psychiatry as Science

Chapter 1. Is Psychiatric Research Scientific? R Cooper.

Chapter 2. A Secret History of ICD and the Hidden Future of DSM. KWM Fulford and N Sartorius.

Chapter 3. Delusion as a Natural Kind. R Samuels.

The Nature of Mental Illness

Chapter 4. Mental Illness is Indeed a Myth. H Pickard.

Chapter 5. Psychiatry and the Concept of Disease as Pathology. D Murphy.

Reconciling Paradigms

Chapter 6. On the Interface Problem in Philosophy and Psychiatry. T Thornton.

Chapter 7. What does Rationality Have to Do with Psychological Causation? J Campbell.

Chapter 8. Mad Scientists or Unreliable Autobiographers? P Gerrans.

Psychiatry and the Neurosciences

Chapter 9. When Time is Out of Joint. D Lloyd.

Chapter 10. Philosophy and Cognitive-Affective Neurogenetics. D Stein.

Chapter 11. An Addictive Lesson. L Stephens and G Graham.

Phenomenology and Scientific Explanation

Chapter 12. Understanding Existential Changes in Psychiatric Illness. M Ratcliffe.

Chapter 13. Delusional realities. S Gallagher.

Delusions and Cognition

Chapter 14. Delusions: a Two-Level Framework. K Frankish.

Chapter 15. Explaining Pathologies of Belief. A Aimola Davies and M Davies.

Moral Psychology and Psychopathology

Chapter 16. Mental Time Travel, Agency and Responsibility. J Kennett and S Matthews.

Chapter 17. Motivation, Depression and Character. I Law.

Conclusion - The Future of Scientific Psychiatry. L Bortolotti and MR Broome.