19 May 2020
Philosophy PhD student's success in Karl Jaspers Award
Philosophy PhD student Harriet Fagerberg has received an Honourable Mention for her paper ‘Mind, Brain and Mental Disorder: What’s Wrong with the Computer Analogy?’ in this year’s Karl Jaspers Award.
The Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry conferred the status after the paper was highly regarded by a committee of 13 clinicians and philosophers.
Harriet’s summary is as follows: “It is traditionally argued that mental disorder can occur in the absence of underlying brain dysfunction, just as software problems can occur in the absence of hardware problems. I argue that there is an important disanalogy between software/hardware and mind/brain. Not all software functions are hardware functions, but all mental functions are brain functions. It follows from this, and our best theory of disorder, that mental disorders are brain disorders.”
Harriet is in the second year of her PhD studies and is preparing to spend a couple of months at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain once she is able to with the COVID-19 pandemic situation as part of the joint PhD with Humboldt University of Berlin.
Her latest research has been looking at what the notion of biological dysfunction and implications are for a theory of brain function. She has also been thinking about methodology in philosophy of medicine.