Wellcome med hums imagewtp052625

Winter School in Psychiatry, Philosophy and Neuroscience (University of Otago, 21-24 June 2015)


We will be providing a mixed learning opportunity involving presentations and case-based problem solving workshops, with the aim of encouraging and supporting integrative thinking in neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry and philosophy. The presentations and discussions will cover a range of clinical and ethical questions, as well as theories of disease and illness in the broader context of philosophical inquiry. We will address such questions as:

  • “What is the relation between evolutionary thinking and human neurology?”
  • “How do biological accounts of brain function correlate with clinical presentations?”
  • “How should we regard marginal and alternative therapies such as conversion therapy, exorcism, natural healing, and cultural approaches to healing?”
  • “In what way should neuro-scientific and philosophical thinking influence debates in law and mental health?”

The inclusion of knowledge from philosophy, psychiatry and the basic sciences means that the winter school aims to enhance the ability of clinicians and scholars working in both humanities and basic sciences to share insights, in order to bring alternative perspectives to bear on contested issues in psychiatric epidemiology and nosology. It is hoped that the course will bring together and offer something to clinicians, academics and researchers in these areas and psychological medicine.


  • Day 1, Sunday 21 June – ‘Evolutionary Neurology and Psychosurgery’
  • Day 2, Monday 22 June – ‘Psychoses as Insanity Syndromes and Brain Disorders: Science, Philosophy and Law’
  • Day 3, Tuesday 23 June – ‘Developmental and Personality Disorders: Socio-Political Psychiatry’
  • Day 4, Wednesday 24 June – ‘Psychiatry and the Margins: Culture, Post-Modernism, Mental Disorder’

The course can be attended in its entirety or on a pick-and-choose day-by-day basis. It is hoped that the latter option will provide an attractive way in which a wider group of attendees (apart from the core 20 students) will be able to benefit.
The cost for this course is $400 for all 4 days or $125 per day

This course will be taught by: Professor Grant Gillett (Bioethics), Dr Neil Pickering (Bioethics), Professor John McMillan (Bioethics), Dr Richard Mullen (Psychiatrist); Dr Christopher Ryan (University of Sydney, Psychiatry); Professor Paul Glue (Psychological Medicine, University of Otago); Professor David Bilkey (Psychology University of Otago); Professor John Dawson (Law, University of Otago)

To register please email  Grant.Gillett@otago.ac.nz

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.