The Maudsley Hospital Building

The Maudsley Philosophy Group

Addressing conceptual / philosophical issues central to psychiatry

Our activity consists of projects to bring high quality clinical and research psychiatry into contact with high quality philosophy.

We aim to help clarify psychiatric research and practice, improve the contact philosophy has with psychiatry and educate the public about the philosophical aspects of psychiatry.

  News & Events

Seminar: week beginning 3 October 2016, 6.00 pm, IoPPN

to be announced

Seminar: Thursday 1 December 2016, 6.00 pm IoPPn

Guest speaker Professor Sherrilyn Roush, Peter Sowerby Chair in Philosophy and Medicine, KCL "Hypochondria and Self-Recalibration" Hypochondria is among other things an epistemological problem about coping with uncertainty. It afflicts patient and doctor in different ways, and is enhanced today by informed consent, the great success of medical science in detecting the nascient and invisible, and the easy availability of information over the internet. To address this problem I suggest straight talk about uncertainty, and a strategy of teaching the patient self-recalibration, that is, to keep a record of the frequency with which their past symptoms and complaints did and did not turn out to be a serious disease. The patient could thus learn how to better judge his own judgement, and readjust his confidence the next time the conviction that he has a terrible disease arises. There is empirical evidence that hypochondriacs are more forgetful than non-hypochondriacs about the frequency of medical explanations of past cases, suggesting self-calibration would be relevant to the problem.