Mental Health: Philosophical Perspectives

Proceedings of the Fourth Trans-Disciplinary Symposium on Philosophy and Medicine Held at Galveston, Texas, May 16–18, 1976

  • H. Tristram EngelhardtJr.
  • Stuart F. Spicker

Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 4)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxii
  2. American Legal Perspectives on Insanity: Some Roots in the Nineteenth Century

  3. Mental Illness and Mental Complaints: Some Conceptual Presuppositions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 39-39
    2. Alan Donagan
      Pages 41-53
    3. D. L. Creson
      Pages 71-77
    4. Horacio Fabrega Jr.
      Pages 79-106
    5. Ruth Macklin
      Pages 107-117
  4. Phenomenological and Speculative Views of Mental Illness

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 119-119
    2. Richard M. Zaner
      Pages 137-142
    3. Stuart F. Spicker
      Pages 143-155
    4. Stuart F. Spicker
      Pages 157-167
    5. Robert Neville
      Pages 169-176
    6. Leonard C. Feldstein
      Pages 177-189
  5. Acting Freely and Acting in Good Health

  6. The Myth of Mental Illness: A Further Examination

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 233-233
    2. Baruch Brody
      Pages 251-257
  7. Reappraising the Concepts of Mental Health and Disease

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 259-259
    2. H. Tristram Engelhardt Jr.
      Pages 261-293
    3. H. Tristram Engelhardt Jr., Stuart F. Spicker
      Pages 295-295
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 297-302

About this book


The concept 'health' is ambiguous [18,9, 11]. The concept 'mental health' is even more so. 'Health' compasses senses of well-being, wholeness, and sound­ ness that mean more than the simple freedom from illness - a fact appreci­ ated in the World Health Organization's definition of health as more than the absence of disease or infirmity [7]. The wide range of viewpoints of the con­ tributors to this volume attests to the scope of issues placed under the rubric 'mental health. ' These papers, presented at the Fourth Symposium on Philos­ ophy and Medicine, were written and discussed within a broad context of interests concerning mental health. Moreover, in their diversity these papers point to the many descriptive, evaluative, and, in fact, performative functions of statements concerning mental health. Before introducing the substance of these papers in any detail, I want to indicate the profound commerce between philosophical and psychological ideas in theories of mental health and disease. This will be done in part by a consideration of some conceptual developments in the history of psychiatry, as well as through an analysis of some of the functions of the notions of mental illness and health. 'Mental health' lays a special stress on the wholeness of human intuition, emotion, thought, and action.


free will freedom health medicine philosophy therapy

Editors and affiliations

  • H. Tristram EngelhardtJr.
    • 1
  • Stuart F. Spicker
    • 2
  1. 1.Kennedy InstituteGeorgetown UniversityUSA
  2. 2.University of Connecticut Health CenterFarmingtonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1978
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-015-6911-8
  • Online ISBN 978-94-015-6909-5
  • Series Print ISSN 0376-7418
  • Buy this book on publisher's site