About us

About us

The Maudsley Philosophy Group Trust is based at the Maudsley, London UK. It began in 2002 but continues a tradition of blending psychiatry and philosophy that dates back to the founders of the Maudsley Hospital and the Institute of Psychiatry.

The group started as a reading group inspired by the idea that psychiatry has a tendency to become “too clinical, too biological and too psychological” and requires a broad cultural and philosophical frame of reference to keep balance and maintain a full view of the human person.

Interests include the phenomenological basis of psychopathology and the different models of mental disorder prevalent in psychiatry (e.g. biological, psychological, sociological). The group has organised key conferences on psychiatry and philosophy, produced a unique Reader on phenomenological psychiatry, developed a questionnaire to probe the models of mental disorder that clinicians and other groups believe (and don't believe). More recently, it has developed an interest in the theme of power and personality.

The Trust organises regular seminars and lectures that bring together clinicians and researchers with philosophers, public intellectuals, and policy makers.

It also supports reading groups for the next generation of psychiatrists.

We drive at innovation and exchange in the areas of psychiatry and philosophy.

The Maudsley Philosophy Group is a registered charity in England and Wales (No 1120868). Donations to the Trust are welcomed - please contact us for details.




Dr Quinton Deeley (Chair)

Dr Deeley is an honorary consultant psychiatrist in the South London and Maudsley Trust National Autism Unit, Adult ADHD Service, and Behavioural Genetics and Autism Assessment Clinic.


Prof Peter Garrard

Peter studied Literae Humaniores at Worcester College Oxford, before embarking on a degree in medicine at the University of Bristol.


Dr Tania Gergel

Tania is a senior research fellow in the Department of Psychological Medicine, Kings College London, and has expertise in mental health, ethics and law. Her areas of interest include: advance decision-making and decision making-capacity; the ethics of coercion and leverage within psychiatry; personhood and mental disorder; and stigma.


Dr Robert Harland

Robert completed his psychiatric training at the Maudlsey Hospital and is now a consultant psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Clinical Director of the Psychosis Clinical Academic Group.


Dr Nikola Kern

Nikola studied medicine at the University of Heidelberg and completed her Doctor of Medicine thesis there.  She worked at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich and was awarded a scholarship from the Max Planck Society to follow research in the field of genetics of affective and anxiety disorders.


Dr Gareth Owen

Gareth studied philosophy and physics and then medicine at the University of London. He subsequently trained in clinical neuroscience at Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge before starting clinical and research training in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry in 2002. Since then his research has addressed problems at the intersection of mental health and justice. Gareth is Reader at King’s College London and runs the Mental Health, Ethics and Law Research Group in the Department of Psychological Medicine and also works as a consultant psychiatrist.



Abbott Laboratories

Lord David Alliance

Lord David Owen and Mrs Deborah Owen

Professor George Szmukler

The Institute of Social Psychiatry

The Wellcome Trust