cod. 1008583

Academic year 2022/23
2° year of course - First semester
- Valentina PETROLINI
Academic discipline
Logica e filosofia della scienza (M-FIL/02)
Istituzioni di filosofia
Type of training activity
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

By the end of the class, students will be able to:

1. Understand and navigate the basic vocabulary and the core debates within contemporary philosophy of psychiatry.
2. Connect the concepts acquired in class to traditional philosophical debates (e.g. mind-body problem, cognition and emotion, personal identity, etc.)
3. Assess empirical and clinical data, while at the same time understanding their contribution to debates in philosophy and the humanities.
4. Debate on topics discussed during the course and master the relevant argumentative strategies and vocabulary.
5. Read and understand scientific and philosophical texts focused on the topics mentioned above.


There are no prerequisites

Course unit content

Philosophy of psychiatry


- Mental health
- Boundary between normality and pathology
- Case-studies (autism)

Further details will be provided in the "Extended Program" (see below)

Full programme

What is it to have a mental disorder? Is it possible to draw a meaningful boundary between mental health and pathology? Are mental disorders reducible to neurological disruptions, are they “problems of living”, or something else entirely? Can we understand ordinary functioning better in light of disordered minds? These are some of the questions that we will tackle in this seminar, touching on areas such as philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology and psychiatry.
The seminar will start by introducing philosophy of psychiatry as a discipline along with its most relevant debates. Then we will move on to discuss the issue of continuity between normality and pathology, with an eye on historically relevant accounts such as the ones developed by Freud and Dewey. The second half of the course will be focused on exploring a specific condition – i.e., autism – from multiple perspectives (history, social aspects, identity and camouflaging). Throughout the seminar we will engage in deep reading and discussion of selected texts from philosophy and psychology. Further details will be provided throughout the semester.


For students who are not attending the class:

Guerini, R. & Marraffa, M. (2020). Psicopatologia e scienze della mente. Dalla psichiatria organicista alla neuroscienza cognitiva clinica. Carocci.

For students who are attending the class:

All the readings will be provided by the instructor during the course.

Teaching methods

This a discussion-based seminar, where more traditional lectures will be complemented by debates, exchange of ideas, and in-class activities.

More details on class format will be discussed during the first week of class.

Assessment methods and criteria

For students participating in the class, the final grade will result from various components, including a final paper, a class presentation, and shorter writing assignments to be turned in throughout the course.

Students who are not participating live are encouraged to get in touch with the instructor to talk about alternative ways of assessing preparation.

Other information

Please make sure to be in touch with the instructor for any question or concern.