Male Philosophy and Psychiatry

In a nice bit of irony (or maybe just grim prophecy. . .), all the invited speakers at Oxford’s upcoming conference ‘Philosophy and Psychiatry: The Next Hundred Years’ are male. They are:

Derek Bolton

John Campbell

Thomas Fuchs

Matthew Ratcliffe

Tim Thornton


There’s also a portion of the conference devoted to invited papers, however. See the call for abstracts below. Send your abstracts, ladies!


Abstracts are welcome from philosophers and clinicians, scientists and
others with experience of mental health issues. Though there is no
restriction as to seniority, preference may be given to younger academics,
post-docs and graduate students.

Accepted papers should be suitable for a 20-minute presentation. Please
send abstracts of 300 words to by January 31,
2013. We expect to notify authors of accepted papers by the end of February.

8 thoughts on “Male Philosophy and Psychiatry

  1. I have no desire to send an abstract to a conference with an all-male list of invited speakers. I’m over this–I’m sick of watching a bunch of males jockey for alpha-male position while we are supposed to look on and listen adoringly. Anybody who has decided that women don’t need to be included in the prestigious list of headliners has organized a conference that I don’t want to attend. There are plenty of other conferences for me to spend my research fund on.

  2. My reaction too, but may I remind us that we don’t assume motives. We want to focus on the bad effects.

  3. You might not assume motives, but I am. I am not suggesting that the GCC is doing anything other than noting the conference.

  4. Has anyone contacted the organisers yet to alert them? One thing that is particularly jarring is that there are many very good philosophers of psychiatry in the UK, without penises. I had absolutely no trouble thinking of some, e.g. Rachel Cooper, Lisa Bortolotti, Jennifer Radden, Hanna Pickard…….. These are all colleagues, coauthors and collaborators of the people now invited to speak.
    My colleague also made another very good, related point, that I want to share: “By the same token, I think the ethnic make up of the keynotes is also an issue: psychiatry is riven with cultural issues and differing cross-cultural interpretations of the meanings of symptoms (especially pertinent given Jaspers’ form/content distinction in delusions), validity of classifications across groups and so on, so having an exclusively white European perspective looks like it is representing an extremely narrow range of views.”

  5. ugh….. encouraging submissions by junior scholars for the refereed sections may help include women and people of colour, but it also sets up a contrast against the white men who are invited and whose status is thus bolstered.

    That contrasting approach for the refereed papers also may provide a veneer of inclusiveness for what is actually paternalism. The invited speakers doubtless will have more time to speak and to address questions, meaning the diversity remains primarily within the audience not among the speakers. Women and people of colour get the “privilege” of listening. sigh.

  6. Isn’t there another subject/category grossly misrepresented, “nothing about us, without us”, is said here in the Netherlands: Philosophy of Psychiatry without those who are really concerned, i.e. a conference without any report from first hand, first person knowledge?

    Wouter Kusters

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