Maladapting Minds discusses a number of reasons why philosophers of psychiatry should take an interest in evolutionary explanations of mental disorders and, more generally, in evolutionary thinking. First of all, there is the nascent field of evolutionary psychiatry. Unlike other psychiatrists, evolutionary psychiatrists engage with ultimate, rather than proximate, questions about mental illnesses. Being a young and youthful new discipline, evolutionary psychiatry allows for a nice case study in the philosophy of science. Secondly, philosophers of psychiatry have engaged with evolutionary theory because evolutionary considerations are often said to play a role in defining the concept of mental disorder. The basic question here is: Can the concept of mental disorder be given an objective definition, or is it rather a normative concept? Thirdly and finally, evolutionary thinking in psychiatry has often been a source of inspiration for a philosophical view on human nature. Thus evolutionary psychiatrists have suggested, for example, that man's vulnerability to mental disorders may well be one of the defining features of our species. Written by leading authors in philosophy, psychiatry, biology and psychology, this volume illustrates that many debates in contemporary philosophy of psychiatry are profoundly influenced by evolutionary approaches to mental disorders. Conversely, it also reveals how philosophers can help contribute to the burgeoning field of evolutionary psychiatry. It is important reading for a wide range of readers interested in mental health care and philosophy.
Foreword ; Introduction - Why philosophers of psychiatry should care about evolutionary theory ; Part 1: Evolutionary psychiatry and its critics ; 1. Fearing new dangers: phobias and the cognitive complexity of human emotions ; 2. Sexual imprinting and fetishism: an evolutionary hypothesis ; 3. Developmental disorders and cognitive architecture ; 4. On the role of ethology in clinical psychiatry: what do ontogenetic and causal factors tell us about ultimate explanations of depression? ; Part 2: Evolutionary theory and the concept of mental disorder ; 5. Darwin, functional explanation, and the philosophy of psychiatry ; 6. Evolutionary foundations for psychiatric diagnosis: making DSM-V Valid ; 7. Normality, disorder and evolved function: the case of depression ; 8. Function, dysfunction, and adaptation? ; Part 3: Psychopathology, evolution, and human nature ; 9. Mirroring the mind: on empathy and autism ; 10. The role of mood change in defining relationships: a tribute to Gregory Bateson (1904-1980) ; 11. From 'evolved interpersonal relatedness' to 'costly social alienation': an evolutionary neurophilosophy of schizophrenia
"This is a fascinating and interesting look at psychiatry from the perspective of the tenets of philosophy and evolutionary theory...Though this book can be fairly complex, it is well worth the read; I highly recommend it." -- Doody's "Both philosophy of psychiatry and philosophy of biology have been studied extensively, but there has not been much contact between the two disciplines. Maladapting Minds aims to address this gap. It consists of a foreword by Geoffrey Miller, an introduction by the editors, and 11 chapters, divided into three parts... This example only shows that not only is more research needed to establish the influence of evolutionary processes on mental health problems and normal functioning, but also more theoretical reflection on what is important in the overall relationship between psychiatry and evolutionary theory. Maladapting Minds is a nice starting point." -- Philosophical Psychology