Cover: Alien Landscapes?: Interpreting Disordered Minds, from Harvard University PressCover: Alien Landscapes? in HARDCOVER

Alien Landscapes?

Interpreting Disordered Minds

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Product Details


$35.00 • £28.95 • €31.50

ISBN 9780674368361

Publication Date: 09/02/2014


448 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

27 color illustrations

Belknap Press


[An] interesting and readable book, the professed aims of which are to make mental health patients seem less alien and to emphasize the role of the humane and the humanities in psychiatry… Admirable.—Iain McGilchrist, Literary Review

A wide-ranging philosophical investigation of psychology and a psychological examination of philosophy.—Jonathon Keats, New Scientist

A searching, humane look at the lives of the mentally ill, whose inner worlds can be alien landscapes indeed. Examining a population of hospitalized patients in Britain, ethicist Glover asks whether it is true that people who suffer from anti‐social disorders are truly without conscience or whether it might not be that their moral world simply maps onto different territory from other people’s—an important distinction in considering such things as the ability to recognize right from wrong and accept responsibility for one’s actions.Kirkus Reviews

Glover attempts a close encounter of the intellectual kind as he probes the ethical aspects of mental disorders and opens up new terrain in an age‐old discussion. Responding to the long‐standing discord between humanist and scientific perspectives on mental illness—an imbalance that consistently favors science—Glover aims to restore humanist views to the discussion through a sensitive examination of art, literature, and, perhaps most noteworthy, interviews with people who have mental disorders… For the philosophically inclined, Glover’s exploration will prove to be an exciting and informative text.Publishers Weekly

A great read, and genuinely illuminating on the inner lives of patients with disorders, and their implications for responsibility and identity. This book is for all of us who have had the impulse to write off someone as ‘crazy,’ meaning: there isn’t any point in trying to engage or understand what’s going on with this person. This is a timely and well-crafted book.—John Campbell, University of California, Berkeley

This book should become a classic in the study of philosophy and psychiatry. The lucidity of the writing makes it, at once, profound and accessible. While acknowledging the substantial contribution of the biological sciences to our understanding of unusual mental states, Glover explores in depth how far an observer can make sense of—or ‘interpret’—them. The implications for how we might think about ‘values,’ ‘identity,’ ‘agency,’ the boundaries of ‘illness,’ and treatment are most richly drawn.—George Szmukler, King’s College London

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