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Human Abilities & Inductive Metaphysics Workshop: Mental Disorders and Modal Properties

Jun 12, 2023 - Jun 13, 2023
Announcement - Mental Disorders and Modal-Properties

Announcement - Mental Disorders and Modal-Properties

Human Abilities & Inductive Metaphysics Workshop: Mental Disorders and Modal Properties

12-13 June 2023 (Mon/Tue),
09:00 AM - 06:00 PM CEST, Room: tba

Organisers: Fabian Hundertmark (Bielefeld University) and Sanja Dembić (HU Berlin)

Speakers: Sanja Dembić (HU Berlin), Kristina Engelhard (Trier University), Jonathan Fuller (University of Pittsburgh), Fabian Hundertmark (Bielefeld University), Sophie Kikkert (HU Berlin), Garson Leder (Medical College of Wisconsin), John T. Maier (Lesley University), Tadeusz Zawidzki (George Washington University)

Abstract: There is an emerging trend to think about mental disorders in terms of modal properties, such as dispositions, capacities, abilities, or skills. Sanja Dembić (2021) and John T. Maier (2021), for example, understand "addictive disorder" as a specific kind of disability or inability. Dembić (2023; ms), Tad Zawidzki and Garson Leder (ms) argue that mental health and disorder, more generally, should be understood in terms of skills or abilities. Johnathan Fuller (ms, chapter 3) argues that mental disorders generally are dispositions. While all of these approaches have some crucial commonalities, a unified picture of specific mental disorders and mental disorders in general remains to be found. The goal of this workshop is to bring together scholars working within these approaches to share ideas, find common ground, and discuss remaining controversies.


Dembić, S. (2021). Defining Addictive Disorder - Abilities Reconsidered. Philosophers’ Imprint, 21(24), 1-23.
Dembić, S. (2023). Mental disorder: An ability-based view. Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 4(2), 1-28.
Dembić, S. (ms). Philosophy of Mental Disorder: An Ability-Based Approach.
Fuller, J. (ms). The New Modern Medicine.
Maier, J. T. (2021). Addiction is a Disability, and it Matters. Neuroethics, 14(3), 467–477.
Zawidzki, T., & Leder, G. (ms). The Skill of Mental Health: Towards a New Theory of Mental Health and Disorder.

For questions, feel free to contact the organisers, Sanja Dembić (sanja.dembic@hu-berlin.de) and Fabian Hundertmark (fhundertmark@uni-bielefeld.de).

Deadline for registrations (sanja.dembic@hu-berlin.de): 2 June 2023

The full programme can be download here.

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, German Research Foundation