IJN Colloquium

Meta-psychiatric Expressivism

Sam Wilkinson (University of Exeter)
Practical information
11 November 2019

ENS, Pavillon Jardin, salle de réunion, 24 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris


There is an on-going debate surrounding different answers to the question "What is mental illness?" My aim in this paper is not to engage directly with this debate, but to explore the consequences of adopting a form of expressivism with regards to the attribution of meltal illness. In other words, I am (at least initially) retreating from the contested ground about what mental illness might be, to an exploration of what attributing mental illness might do. I argue that calling someone mentally ill expresses (in a sense that I will clarify) certain evaluative attitudes (in a sense that I will clarify). I end by investigating consequences of this view for related issues, including cuntural relativism, social constructivism and the natural of illness more generally.