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Philosophy, Psychiatry, & Psychology 10.4 (2003) 295
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Agency, Narrative, and Self:
A Philosophical Case Conference
John Z. Sadler and K. W. M. Fulford
This issue of PPP features our second "philosophical case conference," which addresses three important and interrelated concepts in the philosophy of psychiatry. Our first philosophical case conference (Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology Volume 5, Number 2, 1998) featured detailed case material concerning the manifold issues involved in psychiatric euthanasia. For this issue, guest edited by J. Melvin Woody, the rich cases supplied by Lloyd Wells provide the foundation for a discussion of narrative accounts of the self and what it means to be an agent.
Philosophical case conferences are an occasional feature of PPP, and develop topics to satisfy one or more criteria: to provide discussions that are important to clinical practice or research, to embed current or perennial philosophical debates in the nitty gritty of clinical practice and personal experience, and/or to provide a clinical testing ground for new conceptual developments relevant to the philosophy of psychiatry.
The format for this issue involves four feature articles, the first by Wells, presenting detailed case material of several patients, followed by discussions (by Kennett & Matthews, Phillips, and Woody) inspired by, or addressing explicitly, the philosophical questions implied in such cases. Following these four feature articles, a panel of commentators (Glas, Hardcastle, Radden, Thornton, Weiner, Woodbridge) respond to the four feature articles as they wish, providing the variations on the agency, narrative, and self themes. We think you will find this issue of PPP to be a fine example of what the philosophy of psychiatry can do, and we give our abundant thanks to Mel Woody for putting this issue together.