Reason, Agency, and the Malaise of Mental Health

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Authors
Cousins, Alexander
Keyword
Epistemology , Psychiatry , Agency , Jonathan Dancy , Hanna Pickard , Mental Health , Depression , John McDowell , David Bakhurst , Reason , Psychology
Abstract
Mental health conditions create incredibly complex experiences in the world. Some medical professionals argue that mental health conditions are purely physical phenomena – simply a deficiency of brain chemicals. Some philosophers construe reason (and therefore the limits of philosophy) too narrowly to say anything interesting about mental health conditions. I aim to develop a complex account of rational agency that explains how we navigate the world in general, and mental health conditions in particular. I then develop examples to show how this account of agency can help explain what it is like to live with a mental health condition. My account aspires to shed light on the nature of agency and provide some much-needed theoretical backing for psychological methods of treating mental health conditions.
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