Philosophy of Mental Health

My dissertation project asks the question: What conditions should the mental health community treat? I challenge the prevailing view that treating dysfunction is healthcare’s primary duty. This dysfunction-oriented approach discourages people from seeking necessary treatment.

Alternatively, I argue that the mental health community is obligated to treat human suffering, rather than dysfunction. We should therefore replace the concept “mental disorder” with the concept “treatable conditions,” which I define as psychological conditions that consist of or cause suffering.

But what do these conditions consist of if they are not dysfunctions? I reject both reductionistic biomedicine and social constructivism and argue that treatable conditions are clusters of biopsychosocial processes. I therefore advocate for a mental health ontology that is suffering-oriented and biopsychosocial in nature.

Socially Engaged Philosophy of Science

I am also collaborating with the University of Cincinnati Center for Public Engagement with Science on two co-authored projects. One is on science education outreach and the other is a paper explaining the theoretical roots of participatory research (linked below).

Theorizing Participatory Research