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Tim Thornton
University of Central Lancashire
  1.  97
    Essential Philosophy of Psychiatry.Tim Thornton - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    Essential Philosophy of Psychiatry is a concise introduction to the growing field of philosophy of psychiatry. Divided into three main aspects of psychiatric clinical judgement, values, meanings and facts, it examines the key debates about mental health care, and the philosophical ideas and tools needed to assess those debates, in six chapters. In addition to outlining the state of play, Essential Philosophy of Psychiatry presents a coherent and unified approach across the different debates, characterized by a rejection of reductionism and (...)
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  2.  28
    John Mcdowell.Tim Thornton - 2004 - Routledge.
    John McDowell's contribution to philosophy has ranged across Greek philosophy, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, metaphysics and ethics. His writings have drawn on the works of, amongst others, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Sellars, and Davidson. His contributions have made him one of the most widely read, discussed and challenging philosophers writing today. This book provides a careful account of the main claims that McDowell advances in a number of different areas of philosophy. The interconnections between the different (...)
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  3. Radical Liberal Values‐Based Practice.Tim Thornton - 2011 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 17 (5):988-991.
    Values based practice is a radical view of the place of values in medicine which develops from a philosophical analysis of values, illness and the role of ethical principles. It denies two attractive and traditional views of medicine: that diagnosis is a merely factual matter and that the values that should guide treatment and management can be codified in principles. But it goes further in the adoption of a radical liberal view: that right or good outcome should be replaced by (...)
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  4.  7
    Oxford Textbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry.Bill Fulford, Tim Thornton & George Graham - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
    Psychiatry is unique in medicine in being on the border between science and the humanities. Science provides insight into the 'causes' of a problem, enabling us to formulate an 'explanation', while the humanities provide insight into its 'meanings' and helps with our 'understanding'. The new interdisciplinary field of 'philosophy of psychiatry' has developed to explore the range of issues relevant to this border country. The Oxford Textbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry is a unique textbook which provides a detailed introduction to (...)
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  5.  2
    Tacit Knowledge.Neil Gascoigne & Tim Thornton - 2012 - Routledge.
    Tacit knowledge is the form of implicit knowledge that we rely on for learning. It is invoked in a wide range of intellectual inquiries, from traditional academic subjects to more pragmatically orientated investigations into the nature and transmission of skills and expertise. Notwithstanding its apparent pervasiveness, the notion of tacit knowledge is a complex and puzzling one. What is its status as knowledge? What is its relation to explicit knowledge? What does it mean to say that knowledge is tacit? Can (...)
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  6.  77
    The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry.K. W. M. Fulford, Martin Davies, Richard G. T. Gipps, George Graham, John Z. Sadler, Giovanni Stanghellini & Tim Thornton (eds.) - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    Philosophy has much to offer psychiatry, not least regarding ethical issues, but also issues regarding the mind, identity, values, and volition. This has become only more important as we have witnessed the growth and power of the pharmaceutical industry, accompanied by developments in the neurosciences. However, too few practising psychiatrists are familiar with the literature in this area. -/- The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry offers the most comprehensive reference resource for this area ever published. It assembles challenging and (...)
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  7. Why the Idea of Framework Propositions Cannot Contribute to an Understanding of Delusions.Tim Thornton - 2007 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (2):159-175.
    One of the tasks that recent philosophy of psychiatry has taken upon itself is to extend the range of understanding to some of those aspects of psychopathology that Jaspers deemed beyond its limits. Given the fundamental difficulties of offering a literal interpretation of the contents of primary delusions, a number of alternative strategies have been put forward including regarding them as abnormal versions of framework propositions described by Wittgenstein in On Certainty. But although framework propositions share some of the apparent (...)
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  8.  51
    Tacit Knowledge as the Unifying Factor in Evidence Based Medicine and Clinical Judgement.Tim Thornton - 2006 - Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 1:2.
    The paper outlines the role that tacit knowledge plays in what might seem to be an area of knowledge that can be made fully explicit or codified and which forms a central element of Evidence Based Medicine. Appeal to the role the role of tacit knowledge in science provides a way to unify the tripartite definition of Evidence Based Medicine given by Sackett et al: the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values. Each of these three (...)
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  9.  5
    Parallel and Serial Processes in Visual Search.Thomas L. Thornton & David L. Gilden - 2007 - Psychological Review 114 (1):71-103.
  10.  82
    Clinical Judgement, Expertise and Skilled Coping.Tim Thornton - 2010 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 16 (2):284-291.
    Medicine involves specific practical expertise as well as more general context-independent medical knowledge. This raises the question, what is the nature of the expertise involved? Is there a model of clinical judgement or understanding that can accommodate both elements? This paper begins with a summary of a published account of the kinds of situation-specific skill found in anaesthesia. It authors claim that such skills are often neglected because of a prejudice in favour of the ‘technical rationality’ exemplified in evidence-based medicine (...)
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  11. Wittgenstein on Language and Thought. The Philosophy of Content.Tim Thornton - 2000 - Mind 109 (435):653-657.
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  12. Against Explanatory Minimalism in Psychiatry.Tim Thornton - 2015 - Frontiers of Psychiatry 6.
    The idea that psychiatry contains, in principle, a series of levels of explanation has been criticised both as empirically false but also, by Campbell, as unintelligible because it presupposes a discredited pre-Humean view of causation. Campbell’s criticism is based on an interventionist-inspired denial that mechanisms and rational connections underpin physical and mental causation respectively and hence underpin levels of explanation. These claims echo some superficially similar remarks in Wittgenstein’s Zettel. But attention to the context of Wittgenstein’s remarks suggests a reason (...)
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  13. Psychopathology and Two Kinds of Narrative Accounts of the Self.Timothy Thornton - 2003 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 10 (4):361-367.
  14. Wittgenstein on Language and Thought the Philosophy of Content.Tim Thornton - 1998 - Edinburgh University Press.
  15. Paper: On the Very Idea of a Recovery Model for Mental Health.Tim Thornton & Peter Lucas - 2011 - Journal of Medical Ethics 37 (1):24-28.
    The recovery model has been put forward as a rival to the biomedical model in mental healthcare. It has also been invoked in debate about public policy for individual and community mental health and the broader goal of social inclusion. But this broader use threatens its status as a genuine model, distinct from others such as the biomedical model. This paper sets out to articulate, although not to defend, a distinct recovery model based on the idea that mental health is (...)
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  16.  15
    Judgement and the Role of the Metaphysics of Values in Medical Ethics.T. Thornton - 2006 - Journal of Medical Ethics 32 (6):365-370.
    Despite its authors’ intentions, the four principles approach to medical ethics can become crudely algorithmic in practice. The first section sets out the bare bones of the four principles approach drawing out those aspects of Beauchamp and Childress’s Principles of biomedical ethics that encourage this misreading. The second section argues that if the emphasis on the guidance of moral judgement is augmented by a particularist account of what disciplines it, then the danger can be reduced. In the third section, I (...)
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  17.  37
    Language, Games and the Role of Interpreters in Psychiatric Diagnosis: A Wittgensteinian Thought Experiment.P. Thomas, A. Shah & T. Thornton - 2009 - Medical Humanities 35 (1):13-18.
    British society is becoming increasingly culturally and linguistically diverse. This poses a major challenge to mental health services charged with the responsibility to work in ways that respect cultural and linguistic difference. In this paper we investigate the problems of interpretation in the diagnosis of depression using a thought experiment to demonstrate important features of language-games, an idea introduced by Ludwig Wittgenstein in his late work, Philosophical investigations. The thought experiment draws attention to the importance of culture and contexts in (...)
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  18.  61
    Wittgenstein and the Limits of Empathic Understanding in Psychopathology.Tim Thornton - 2004 - International Review of Psychiatry.
    Summary The aim of this paper is three-fold. Firstly, to briefly set out how strategic choices made about theorising about intentionality or content have actions at a distance for accounting for delusion. Secondly, to investigate how successfully a general difficulty facing a broadly interpretative approach to delusions might be eased by the application of any of three Wittgensteinian interpretative tools. Thirdly, to draw a general moral about how the later Wittgenstein gives more reason to be pessimistic than optimistic about the (...)
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  19.  27
    Delusional Atmosphere, the Everyday Uncanny, and the Limits of Secondary Sense.Tim Thornton - 2012 - Emotion Review 4 (2):192-196.
    In Paradoxes of Delusion, Sass aims to use passages from Wittgenstein to characterize the feeling of “mute particularity” that forms a part of delusional atmosphere. I argue that Wittgenstein’s discussion provides no helpful positive account. But his remarks on more everyday cases of the uncanny and the feeling of unreality might seem to promise a better approach via the expressive use of words in secondary sense. I argue that this also is a false hope but that, interestingly, there can be (...)
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  20.  37
    Values Based Practice and Authoritarianism.Tim Thornton - 2014 - In .
    Values based practice is a radical view of the place of values in medicine which develops from a philosophical analysis of values, illness and the role of ethical principles. It denies two attractive and traditional but misguided views of medicine: that diagnosis is a merely factual matter and that the values that should guide treatment and management can be codified in principles. But, in the work of KWM Fulford, it goes further in the form of a radical liberal view: that (...)
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  21. Psychiatric Explanation and Understanding.Tim Thornton - 2010 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (1):95-111.
    Jaspers’s binary distinction between understanding and explanation has given way first to a proliferation of explanatory levels and now, in John Campbell’s recent work, to a conception of explanation with no distinct levels of explanation and no inbuilt rationality requirement. I argue that there is still a role for understanding in psychiatry and that is to demystify the assumption that the states it concerns are mental. This role can be fulfilled by placing rationality at the heart of understanding without a (...)
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  22. The Discursive Turn, Social Constructionism and Dementia.Tim Thornton - 2005 - In Julian Hughes, Stephen Louw & Steven R. Sabat (eds.), Dementia: Mind, Meaning, and the Person. Oxford University Press.
  23. On the Interface Problem in Philosophy and Psychiatry.Tim Thornton - 2009 - In Matthew Broome & Lisa Bortolotti (eds.), Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience: Philosophical Perspectives. Oxford University Press.
  24.  80
    Thought Insertion, Cognitivism, and Inner Space.Tim Thornton - 2002 - Cognitive Neuropsychiatry.
    Introduction. Whatever its underlying causes, even the description of the phenomenon of thought insertion, of the content of the delusion, presents difficulty. It may seem that the best hope of a description comes from a broadly cognitivist approach to the mind which construes content-laden mental states as internal mental representations within what is literally an inner space: the space of the brain or nervous system. Such an approach objectifies thoughts in a way which might seem to hold out the prospect (...)
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  25.  6
    Tacit Knowledge.Tim Thornton - 2022 - In Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Implicit Cognition.
    This chapter sets out an account of tacit knowledge as conceptually structured, situation specific practical knowledge. It sets this out against two claims from Michael Polanyi which conjoin the idea that we know more than we can tell with the suggestion that knowledge is practical. Any account of tacit knowledge which attempts to respond to Polanyi’s first claim faces a twofold test of adequacy. It must be tacit and it must be knowledge. To count as knowledge some content must be (...)
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  26. Psychopathy: What Apology Making Tells Us About Moral Agency.Gloria Ayob & Tim Thornton - 2014 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (1):17-29.
    Psychopathy is often used to settle disputes about the nature of moral judgment. The “trolley problem” is a familiar scenario in which psychopathy is used as a test case. Where a convergence in response to the trolley problem is registered between psychopathic subjects and non-psychopathic subjects, it is assumed that this convergence indicates that the capacity for making moral judgments is unimpaired in psychopathy. This, in turn, is taken to have implications for the dispute between motivation internalists and motivation externalists, (...)
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  27.  79
    Capacity, Mental Mechanisms, and Unwise Decisions.Tim Thornton - 2011 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 18 (2):127-132.
    The notion of capacity implicit in the Mental Capacity Act is subject to a tension between two claims. On the one hand, capacity is assessed relative to a particular decision. It is the capacity to make one kind of judgement, specifically, rather than another. So one can have capacity in one area and not have it in another. On the other hand, capacity is supposed to be independent of the ‘wisdom’ or otherwise of the decision made. (‘A person is not (...)
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  28.  56
    Mental Illness and Reductionism: Can Functions Be Naturalized?Tim Thornton - 2000 - Philosophy Psychiatry and Psychology 9 (1):229-253.
    There has been considerable recent philo- sophical work on the nature of mental illness. Two..
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  29.  28
    The New Philosophy of Psychiatry: Its (Recent) Past, Present and Future: A Review of the Oxford University Press Series International Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry. [REVIEW]Natalie F. Banner & Tim Thornton - 2007 - Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 2:9-.
    There has been a recent growth in philosophy of psychiatry that draws heavily (although not exclusively) on analytic philosophy with the aim of a better understanding of psychiatry through an analysis of some of its fundamental concepts. This 'new philosophy of psychiatry' is an addition to both analytic philosophy and to the broader interpretation of mental health care. Nevertheless, it is already a flourishing philosophical field. One indication of this is the new Oxford University Press series International Perspectives in Philosophy (...)
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  30. Wittgenstein’s Thought in Transition.Dale Jacquette, Brendan Wilson, Tim Thornton & Frank Cioffi - 2000 - Philosophical Quarterly 50 (198):98-104.
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  31.  15
    Understanding, Testimony and Interpretation in Psychiatric Diagnosis.Tim Thornton, Ajit Shah & Philip Thomas - 2009 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 12 (1):49-55.
    Psychiatric diagnosis depends, centrally, on the transmission of patients’ knowledge of their experiences and symptoms to clinicians by testimony. In the case of non-native speakers, the need for linguistic interpretation raises significant practical problems. But determining the best practical approach depends on determining the best underlying model of both testimony and knowledge itself. Internalist models of knowledge have been influential since Descartes. But they cannot account for testimony. Since knowledge by testimony is possible, and forms the basis of psychiatric diagnosis, (...)
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  32.  23
    Bootstrapping Conceptual Normativity?Tim Thornton - 2021 - Philosophical Investigations 44 (2):189-205.
    Both anti-reductionist and reductionist accounts of linguistic meaning and mental content face challenges accounting for acquiring concepts as part of learning a first language. Anti-reductionists cannot account for a transition from the pre-conceptual to conceptual without threatening to reduce the latter to the former. Reductionists of a representationalist variety face the challenge of Fodor’s argument that language learning is impossible. This paper examines whether Ginsborg’s account of ‘primitive normativity’ might provide some resources for addressing these issues. I argue that primitive (...)
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  33.  23
    Should Comprehensive Diagnosis Include Idiographic Understanding?Tim Thornton - 2007 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 11 (3):293-302.
    The World Psychiatric Association has emphasised the importance of idiographic understanding as a distinct component of comprehensive assessment but in introductions to the idea it is often assimilated to the notion of narrative judgement. This paper aims to distinguish between supposed idiographic and narrative judgement. Taking the former to mean a kind of individualised judgement, I argue that it has no place in psychiatry in part because it threatens psychiatric validity. Narrative judgement, by contrast, is a genuinely distinct complement to (...)
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  34. Does Understanding Individuals Require Idiographic Judgement?Tim Thornton - unknown
    Idiographic understanding has been proposed as a response to concern that criteriological diagnosis cannot capture the nature of human individuality. It can seem that understanding individuals requires, instead, a distinct form of ‘individualised’ judgement and this claim receives endorsement by the inventor of the term ‘idiographic’, Wilhelm Windelband. I argue, however, that none of the options for specifying a model of individualised judgement, to explain what idiographic judgement might be, will work. I suggest, at the end, that narrative, rather than (...)
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  35.  25
    Narrative Identity and Dementia.Tim Thornton - forthcoming - Hungarian Philosophical Review.
    It seems obvious that one of the harms that dementia does is to undermine the person’s identity. One reason for thinking this is that personal identity has long been associated with continuity of a subjective perspective on the world held together by memory that that memory is severely curtailed in dementia. Hence dementia seems to threaten an individual’s identity as a particular person, gradually undermining it. But the necessity of the connection has been criticised by a number of philosophers and (...)
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  36.  14
    Naturalism and Dysfunction.Tim Thornton - 2021 - In Luc Faucher & Denis Forest (eds.), Defining Mental Disorders: Jerome Wakefield and his Critics.
    The harmful dysfunction account of disorder separates an explicitly normative or evaluative notion of harm from the idea of dysfunction which is subject to a reductionist naturalistic account. Dysfunction is analysed as a failure of function which is itself reduced via evolutionary biology. In this paper, I question this latter aspect of the account. Light can be shed on the prospect of reducing the apparently normative notion of dysfunction by comparing it with two distinct reductionist projects in the philosophy of (...)
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  37.  20
    The Implications of the Loss of Self-Respect for the Recovery Model in Mental Healthcare.Tim Thornton - 2020 - Human Affairs 30 (3):316-327.
    According to the recovery model, mental healthcare should be aimed towards a conception of recovery articulated by a patient or service user in accord with his or her own specific values. The model thus presupposes and emphasises the agency of the patient and opposes paternalism. Recent philosophical work on the relations between respect, self-respect, self-esteem, shame, and agency suggests, however, two ways in which mental illness itself can undermine self-respect, promote shame and undermine agency, suggesting a tension within the recovery (...)
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  38.  6
    Ontological and Epistemological Bases of Person Centered Medicine.Tim Thornton - 2021 - In Person Centered Medicine.
    Person Centred Medicine is a substantial and contentious view of healthcare that carries both ontological and epistemological presuppositions. This chapter examines two key aspects: that the person is a central, basic irreducible element in ontology and that person-level knowledge is both important and possible. Some reasons for holding both of these are sketched.
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  39.  25
    Psychiatry’s Inchoate Wish for a Paradigm Shift and Bio-Psych-Social Model of Mental Illness.Tim Thornton - 2018 - In Rethinking the Biopsychosocial Model. Oxford University Press.
    In recent years, there have been repeated calls for a ‘paradigm shift’ in psychiatry. In this chapter, I take this idea seriously and explore its consequences. Having illustrated calls for a paradigm shift, I sketch the Kuhnian account of science from which the idea is taken and highlight the connection to incommensurability. I then outline a distinction drawn from Winch between putative sciences where the self-understanding of subjects plays no role and those where it is fundamental. I argue that psychiatry (...)
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  40.  11
    Is Recovery a Model?Tim Thornton - 2012 - In Abraham Rudnick (ed.), Recovery of People with Mental Illness: Philosophical and Related Perspectives. Oxford University Press. pp. 236.
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  41.  22
    Phronesis and Clinical Decision-Making: The Missing Link Between Evidence and Values.K. W. M. Fulford & Tim Thornton - 2018 - In Phronesis and Decision Making in Medicine: Practical Wisdom in Action. Routledge.
    Decision-making depends on bringing evidence together with values: decision theory for example employs probabilities and utilities; health economic decisions employ measures such as quality of life. The hypothesis guiding this chapter is that bringing evidence together with values in clinical decision-making requires an exercise of phronesis. Our aim however is not to justify our guiding hypothesis. It is rather to outline an account of phronesis that is in principle fit for the purposes of clinical decision-making if our guiding hypothesis is (...)
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  42.  5
    The Contemporary Importance of the Idiographic in Mental Healthcare.Tim Thornton - 2021 - In Sergio Salvatore & Jaan Valsiner (eds.), Yearbook of Idiographic Science.
    In response to concerns about the subsuming of individuals under essential general psychiatric diagnostic categories, there have been calls for an idiographic component in person specific diagnostic formulations. The distinction between the idiographic and nomothetic was introduced by Windelband as his contribution to the Methodenstreit. However, as I have argued elsewhere, it is unclear what the distinction is supposed to comprise. In this chapter, I attempt to shed light on the motivation for the distinction by looking at a number of (...)
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  43.  16
    Values and the Singular Aims of Idiographic Inquiry.Tim Thornton - 2018 - In Raffaele De Luca Picione, Jensine Nedergaard, Maria Francesca Freda & Sergio Salvatore (eds.), Idiographic Approach to Health. Information Age Publishing.
    In response to the concern that criteriological psychiatric diagnosis, based on the DSM and ICD classifications, pigeon-holes patients, there have been calls for it to be augmented by an idiographic formulation [IDGA Workgroup, WPA 2003]. I have argued elsewhere that this is a mistake [Thornton 2008a, 2008b, 2010]. Looking back to its original proponent Wilhelm Windelband yields no clear account of the contrast between idiographic and nomothetic judgement.ing from Jaspers’ account of understanding an idea of idiographic judgement based on the (...)
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  44. Phronesis and Decision Making in Medicine: Practical Wisdom in Action.K. W. M. Fulford & Tim Thornton - forthcoming - Routledge.
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  45. Kripke's Wittgenstein.Ali Hossein Khani & Tim Thornton - forthcoming - In Gary N. Kemp & Ali Hossein Khani (eds.), Wittgenstein and Other Philosophers (Volume I). Routledge.
  46.  12
    Mental Illness.Tim Thornton - 2022 - Cambridge University Press.
    The very idea of mental illness is contested. Given its differences from physical illnesses, is it right to count it, and particular mental illnesses, as genuinely medical as opposed to moral matters? One debate concerns its value-ladenness, which has been used by anti-psychiatrists to argue that it does not exist. Recent attempts to define mental illness divide both on the presence of values and on their consequences. Philosophers and psychiatrists have explored the nature of the general kinds that mental illnesses (...)
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  47. Rethinking the Biopsychosocial Model.Tim Thornton - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
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  48.  21
    Delusions: A Project in Understanding.Kwm Filford & Tim Thornton - 2016 - In T. Schramme & S. Edwards (eds.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Medicine. Springer. pp. 1-20.
    This chapter gives an illustrated overview of recent philosophical work on the concept of delusion. Drawing on a number of case vignettes, examples are given of the wide range of theories that has been advanced to explain this most challenging of experiences. Some have agreed with the philosophical founder of modern descriptive psychopathology, Karl Jaspers, that delusions are “ununderstandable.” The large majority, though, has sought to understand delusion in terms of aberrations of one kind or another either of beliefs or (...)
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  49.  47
    Values-Based Practice and Reflective Judgment.Tim Thornton - 2008 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 15 (2):125-133.
    In this paper, I relate values-based practice (VBP) to clinical judgment more generally. I consider what claim, aside from the fundamental difference of facts and values, lies at the heart of VBP. Rather than, for example, construing values as subjective, I argue that it is more helpful to construe VBP as committed to the uncodifiability of value judgments. It is a form of particularism rather than principlism, but this need not deny the reality of values. Seen in this light, however, (...)
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  50.  43
    An Intellect in View.Tim Thornton - 2009 - The Philosophers' Magazine 46 (46):108-110.
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