Explanatory organization and psychiatric resilience: Challenges to a mechanistic approach to mental disorders

Raffaella Campaner


Abstract: This contribution aims to address epistemological issues at the crossroads of philosophy of science and psychiatry by reflecting on the notions of organization and resilience. Referring to the debate on the notion of “organization” and its explanatory relevance in philosophical neo-mechanistic theories, I consider how such positions hold up when tentatively applied to  the mental health context. More specifically, I show how reflections on psychiatric resilience, cognitive reserve, and accommodation strategies challenge attempts to embrace a mechanistic perspective on mental disorders. A deeper focus on these aspects of mental health is relevant to theoretical discussions on explanatory models as well as for clinical practice, diagnosis, and treatment.

Keywords: Psychiatric resilience; Cognitive Reserve; Organization; Mechanism

Il ruolo esplicativo dell’organizzazione e la resilienza psichiatrica: sfide ad un approccio meccanicistico alla malattia mentale

Riassunto: Questo articolo intende discutere alcuni temi epistemologici all’incrocio tra la filosofia della scienza e la psichiatria, riflettendo sulle nozioni di organizzazione e resilienza. Muovendo dalle riflessioni sulla nozione di “organizzazione” sviluppate nell’ambito delle teorie neo-meccaniciste, e dalla difesa del suo ruolo esplicativo, il lavoro analizza la possibilità di estendere alcune posizioni relative alla spiegazione scientifica al contesto delle scienze della salute mentale. Più nello specifico, si illustra come le indagini sulla resilienza psichiatrica, la riserva cognitiva e le strategie di compensazione possano mettere in discussione i tentativi di abbracciare una prospettiva meccanicistica quando si affronta il tema del disturbo psichiatrico. Una maggiore attenzione ai suddetti filoni di ricerca può avere un impatto significativo sia sulla discussione relativa ai modelli teorici di spiegazione della malattia mentale sia sui processi clinici di diagnosi e terapia.

Parole chiave: Resilienza psichiatrica; Riserva cognitiva; Organizzazione; Meccanicismo

Parole chiave

Psychiatric resilience; Cognitive Reserve; Organization; Mechanism

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4453/rifp.2020.0007

Copyright (c) 2020 Raffaella Campaner

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