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Problems of Living - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780323902397, 9780323904391

Problems of Living

1st Edition

Perspectives from Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Cognitive-Affective Science

Author: Dan Stein
eBook ISBN: 9780323904391
Paperback ISBN: 9780323902397
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 11th May 2021
Page Count: 326
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Problems of Living: Perspectives from Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Cognitive-Affective Science addresses philosophical questions related to problems of living, including questions about the nature of the brain-mind, reason and emotion, happiness and suffering, goodness and truth, and the meaning of life. It draws on critical, pragmatic, and embodied realism as well as moral naturalism, and brings arguments from metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics together with data from cognitive-affective science. This multidisciplinary integrated approach provides a novel framework for considering not only the nature of mental disorders, but also broader issues in mental health, such as finding pleasure and purpose in life.

Key Features

  • Draws on the strongest aspects of polar positions in philosophy and psychiatry to help resolve important perennial debates in these fields
  • Explores continuities between early philosophical work and current cognitive-affective sciences, including neuroscience and psychology
  • Employs findings from modern cognitive-affective science to rethink key long-standing debates in philosophy and psychiatry
  • Builds on work showing how mind is embodied in the brain, and embedded in society, to provide an integrated conceptual framework
  • Assesses both the insights and the limitations of cognitive-affective science for addressing the big questions and hard problems of living


mental health clinicians, philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, general academic readers

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
1.1 Perspectives of Philosophy
1.2 Perspectives of Psychiatry
1.3 The Big Questions

2. Brain-Minds: What is the Best Metaphor?
2.1 The Mind-Body Problem in Philosophy
2.2 The Mind-Body Problem in Psychology
2.3 Two Key Mind-Body Metaphors
2.4 Brain-Mind as Wetware
2.5 Conclusion

3. Reason and Passion
3.1 Philosophy of Reason and Passion
3.2 Psychiatry of Reason and Passion
3.3 Neurophilosophy and Neuropsychiatry
3.4 Schemas and Cognitive-Affective Processing
3.5 Conclusion

4. The Pleasures of Life
4.1 Philosophy and Happiness
4.2 Psychiatry and Happiness
4.3 Neurophilosophy and Neuropsychiatry
4.4 Sharpening Ideas on Happiness
4.5 Conclusion

5. Pain and Suffering
5.1 Philosophy and Pain/Suffering
5.2 Psychiatry and Pain/Suffering
5.3 Neurophilosophy and Neuropsychiatry
5.4 Sharpening our Views of Suffering
5.5 Conclusion

6. The Good and the Bad
6.1 Philosophy and Morality
6.2 Psychiatry and Morality
6.3 Neurophilosophy and Neuropsychiatry
6.4 Sharpening our Thinking about Morality
6.5 Conclusion

7. How Can We Know What is True, Then?
7.1 Philosophy and the Truth
7.2 Psychiatry and Truth
7.3 Neurophilosophy and Neuropsychiatry
7.4 Sharpening our Thinking about Scientific Progress
7.5 Conclusion

8. The Meaning of Life
8.1 Philosophy and the Meaning of Life
8.2 Psychiatry and Meaning in Life
8.3 Neurophilosophy and Neuropsychiatry
8.4 Sharpening our View of the Meaning of Life
8.5 Conclusion

9. Conclusion: Metaphors of Life


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2021
11th May 2021
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:

About the Author

Dan Stein

Dan J. Stein is Professor and Chair of the Dept of Psychiatry at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, and Director of the South African Medical Research Council’s Unit on Risk & Resilience in Mental Disorders. Dan’s training includes doctoral degrees in clinical neuroscience and in philosophy, and a post-doctoral fellowship in psychopharmacology. He is a clinician-scientist whose work has long focused on anxiety and related disorders. He has also mentored a range of other research, with publications spanning basic neuroscience, through clinical research, and on to public mental health. His research has had considerable influence (as evidenced by his h-index, perhaps the highest of any African scholar), as has his mentorship (as evidenced by the career success of his postgraduate students and fellows). Awards for his work include the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology’s Max Hamilton Award for his contributions to psychopharmacology, and its Ethics in Psychopharmacology Award.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cape Town, South Africa


"First, I really don’t see how one can ‘integrate’ and find a 'golden mean' between the products of continental and analytical philosophy. They are largely mutually incomprehensible and incompatible, although their deficiencies and strengths can be viewed as complementary. Instead of seeking what may be a meaningless ‘mean’ and ineffectual ‘intermediacy’, why not engage in an energetic, exuberant, and confrontational ‘multi-lectic’ of competing theses and use Hegelian sublation to generate a truly meaningful and resilient synthesis that embodies the useful and complementary elements of the competing theses? This notwithstanding, I read -and greatly benefitted from – Problems of living… from cover to cover in one sitting and expect others to do as well." --Metapsychology Online Reviews

"I know of no other source that so clearly and comprehensively integrates philosophy, cognitive science, and neuroscience, and certainly none that use them to address problems in psychiatry. I hope this achievement will be widely appreciated, but I fear the book’s price will limit its influence. However, the price is worth it; I have already bought to copies for friends. If the Academic Press were to make electronic versions available via university libraries, that would be to the great benefit of psychiatry, philosophy, and knowledge in general." --British Journal on Psychiatry

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