Monday, December 8, 2008

Tamara Daily: Movies and Madness


FALL, 2008

Class Time and Location: 6:00 to 8:30 Wednesdays in
Tolerton-Hood 100.

Instructor: Dr. Tamara Daily, Tolerton-Hood Hall room 206

Phone and voicemail: (330) 823-2457


Required Texts:

Wahl, O. (1995). Media Madness: Public Images of Mental Illness. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Armstrong, K., Best, S., & Domenici, P. (2006). Courage after fire: Coping strategies for troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and their families. Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press.

You will also need to read one first-person narrative account of living with a mental illness from an approved list.

Course Objectives: This course explores the ways people with
mental illnesses and psychological disorders as well as those who treat them
have been presented in feature films. Film, like other forms of media, has a
powerful impact on culture informing and mirroring our feelings, thoughts and
actions as individuals. The course examines the issue of stigmatization and
marginalization of people with mental illness as a social problem exacerbated
by misleading and negative images presented in the mass media. The course will
also provide very basic information about psychological disorders, the mental
health system, and various treatment approaches.

• To be able to critically evaluate depictions of people
with mental illnesses and psychological disorders in feature films.

• To be able to critically evaluate depictions of mental
health professionals and the treatment of psychological disorders in feature

• To develop a sophisticated understanding of the impact
of inaccurate and negative images of mental illnesses and their treatment on
individuals and the culture as a whole.

• To learn basic information about psychological
disorders and their treatment that is both accurate and useful.

Given that most people in this culture learn about mental
illness and psychological disorders from the mass media, most of what they know
is inaccurate and stereotyped. This leads to the further stigmatization and
marginalization of people with mental illnesses and causes such people to be
negatively impacted in a variety of ways. In addition, negative and/or misinformed
attitudes about mental illness leaves people vulnerable to neglecting their own
mental health needs and the needs of those around them. This course will be an
attempt to address these issues.

Connection to Departmental Objectives: This course is a part
of the whole curriculum offered in the Department of Psychology and is
classified as an elective seminar. The faculty in the Department of Psychology
has articulated a set of goals and objectives that guide our work. Of these
goals, this course contributes to the achievement of the following:

• Apply psychological knowledge to one's own world and
thereby enhance understanding of behavior and effective functioning.

• Think critically, formulate effective arguments, and
solve problems through effective utilization of information and, therefore,
function as an intelligent consumer of psychological information.

The Integrative Experience Requirement: The integrative
experience requirement is designed to achieve two broad goals associated with
the overarching purpose of fostering in students personal freedom in the
service of human community: (1) to provide a broad context in which to place
students' experiences within specific disciplines. In so doing, students will
be introduced to complex and multifaceted ideas which, in order to be
understood with depth, require taking the perspective of more than one
discipline. As they do this work, students are expected to develop the ability
to analyze issues in an active and reflective manner; and (2) to demonstrate
the ability to draw from multiple disciplinary bases, integrating and
synthesizing those perspectives meaningfully. Students will learn to apply
methodology and language from various disciplines as they examine common
themes, issues, problems, topics or experiences. The focus of this learning
experience is on making connections across disciplines illustrating the
interrelationships among them.

This course meets the goals of the Integrative Experience requirement in the following ways:

• Throughout the semester, students will be called upon
to use a variety of disciplinary perspectives in order to understand the
complex problem of prejudice and stigmatization of people with mental illnesses
and psychological disorders. Depictions of people with a variety of
psychological disorders in feature films will be the launching pad for
multifaceted discussions of where the images come from, how they are maintained
and propagated, and how they affect real people. This will require thinking of
film not only as entertainment but also as a mechanism for the expression and
transmission of cultural values.

• Students will be asked to complete projects designed
to develop in them the ability to examine films actively and critically in
terms of the authenticity, clinical accuracy, and potential social impact of
each depiction.

• Students will be asked to develop materials that could
be used in their communities to decrease prejudice against and stigmatization
of people with psychological disorders and/or increase community awareness of psychological
disorders and their treatment.


Attendance & Participation

Reading Reflections

Film Analysis Essay 1

Film Analysis Essay 2

Stigma Buster Project

First Person Narrative Assignment

Film Analysis Essays: You will be required to write
two critical essays of films (20% each) using an ideological approach (as
described on pp. 88-92 in the Corrigan text). The essays must be critiques of
the films from a list of approved films (i.e., films that I have seen). The
structure and grading rubric for these papers will be discussed in class and
you will be provided with a handout containing this information. You will have
the opportunity to revise each of these papers once to improve your grade. The
citation style you will be expected to use is APA style (see your Keys for Writers
book if you don't know what that means). The deadlines for these papers are
indicated on the schedule for the class.

Stigma Buster Project: You will be required to
complete a stigma buster project (20%) during the semester. A stigma busting
project is designed "to fight the inaccurate, hurtful representations of
mental illness. Whether these images are found in TV, film, print, or other
media, StigmaBusters speak out and challenge stereotypes in an effort to
educate society about the reality of mental illness and the courageous
struggles faced by consumers and families every day.

StigmaBusters' goal is to break down the barriers of
ignorance, prejudice, or unfair discrimination by promoting education,
understanding, and respect" (NAMI, You will have a great
deal of freedom to choose the type of activity you would like to do to satisfy
this requirement. Several examples are described in Chapter 7 of the Wahl text
and on the NAMI website ( The guidelines and grading rubric for
these projects will be discussed in class and you will be given a handout
containing this information.

First Person Narrative Assignment: You will be
required to select a book from a list of approved first person accounts of
living with mental illness. After reading your selected book, you will write a
reaction paper describing the author's experiences and what you learned from
reading about them. This paper is worth 20% of your grade.

Attendance and Participation: Attendance and
participation in the class are required and do count toward your grade.

Attendance (5%) will be taken at each the beginning of each
class. In addition, on the first day of class you will be given a card with
the name of a specific psychological disorder (5%) on it. It will then be your
responsibility to do background research on that disorder to be written up and
presented to the class. After your presentation, you will need to turn in a written
description of your disorder complete with documentation (i.e., citations of
sources). I will coordinate with each of you to determine when that
presentation will occur. You will also be required to produce reflections for
each of the reading assignments from the two required texts - one paragraph per
chapter (10%).

Classroom Conduct: I expect you to avoid behaviors that will
disrupt the learning experiences of others. This includes but is not limited
to being persistently late to class, leaving class while it is in session,
talking to other students when the professor or another student is addressing
the group, reading newspapers, completing homework for other classes, playing video games, or surfing the web. CELL PHONES, PAGERS, AND OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICES (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF COMPUTERS FOR TAKING NOTES) MUST BE TURNED OFF WHILE CLASS IS IN SESSION.

Unless you have a genuine need to leave your phone on (e.g., waiting on news about an ill family member), turn it off! Putting your phone on vibrate is insufficient. I leave my phone in my office or turn it off when I come to class; I expect you to do the same.

Academic Dishonesty: Any form of academic dishonesty will
result in failure of the course and possibly referral to the Dean of the
College for further action. Academic dishonesty includes: taking someone
else's work as your own; plagiarizing (using ideas, information, or language from
sources without giving due credit to those sources); receiving unauthorized
assistance on exams, papers, etc...; submitting work used previously in another
course; destroying or interfering with College resources (e.g., library books);
interfering with the academic work of others; and, falsifying or misrepresenting
research findings.

Disability Statement: The Disability Support Services
office (DSS) offers a variety of services and accommodations to students with
disabilities based on appropriate documentation, nature of disability, and
academic need. In order to initiate services, students should meet with the
Director of DSS at the start of the semester to discuss reasonable

If a student does not request accommodation or provide
documentation, the faculty member is under no obligation to provide
accommodations. You may contact the Director of DSS at ext. 7372 or through
e-mail at

Schedule of Events for Psychology 280Q


Opening discussions and orientation to the class

Reading: Wahl -- Chapters 1through 4

Screening: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Directed by Milos Forman

Reading: Wahl - Chapters 5 through 8

Discussion: Institution Films


Screening: Girl Interrupted (1999) Directed by James Mangold

Reading: Armstrong, Best, & Domenici Chapters 1through 4

Discussion: On the Misbehavior of Girls

Reading: Armstrong, Best, & Domenici Chapters 5 through 7


Screening: Screening: Stop-Loss (2008) Directed by Kimberly Peirce


Discussion: Mental Illness in War Films


10/15 Screening: Fight Club (1999) Directed by David Fincher

10/22 Discussion: The Worst Hollywood Has to Offer


10/29 Screening: Matchstick Men (2003) Directed by Ridley Scott


Discussion: Anxiety Disorders in Films


11/12 Screening: Mr. Jones (1993) Directed by Mike Figgis

11/19 Discussion: Mood Disorders in Movies


12/10 Screening: Canvas (2006) Directed by Joseph Greco


2008 Observances:

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Brain Injury Awareness Month; Brain Awareness Week

Counseling Awareness Month

Autism Awareness Month

Mental Health Month

Childhood Depression Awareness Day

Children's Mental Health Week

Mental Health Counseling Week

Anxiety and Depression Awareness Day

Anxiety Disorders Screening Day

Schizophrenia Awareness Week

Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month

Suicide Prevention Week; Suicide Prevention Day

National Depression Screening Day

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Bipolar Awareness Day

World Mental Health Day

Depression and Mental Health Screening Month

National Child Mental Health Month

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jennfier Radden: Delusions: Philosophical and Psychological Questions

Instructor: Jennifer Radden

Office: W-5-20

Tel: 287 6546

Office hours: Tues/Thurs 3.30-4.30 or by appointment

Course description

The delusions of madmen have long played a part in
philosophical analyses of knowledge and belief, providing a heuristic for
understanding skepticism and a foil against which models of rationality and
sound reasoning can be recognized. More recently, sharpened philosophical and
scientific interest in pathological delusions has directed us toward several
controversial questions about how they are to be defined and understood. Does a
difference in kind distinguish them from more everyday erroneous beliefs and
fixed convictions? Does their status rest on faulty reasoning, on content that
is false, on incomprehensibility, or on being un-shared by others – or on some
combination of these? How do the criteria for assigning delusion status
acknowledge the differing truth conditions among ordinary beliefs (those based
on observation in contrast to those that involve metaphysical claims, for
example). Are delusions always beliefs, or should we acknowledge that
attitudes, values and desires may be delusional?

In this course we look at recent attempts to define and
characterize delusion with a particular focus on how they reflect, and bear on,
claims about knowledge, certainty, and solipsism from Western philosophical


There will be two essays and a mid-term exam in this course,
each worth one third of the final grade. Attendance is expected and penalties
will result for students absent more than five times throughout the semester
for whatever reason.

Syllabus and Reading Guide

Part 1: Background from psychiatry. (Sept 2, 4)

(Reading: Selected first person accounts of delusion by
Perceval (edited by Bateson), Custance, Kaysen, Schreber, “Renee”[Sechehaye],
Saks, Slater, Lipton ( quoting alleged anthrax culprit David Ivins);
descriptions by Weyer, Kraepelin; Stanton and David 2000.)

Part 2. Kinds of delusions (Sept 9,11)

(Reading for Sept 9: Fulford, Thornton and Graham 2006:

(Reading for Sept 11: Jaspers 98-107, 408-413; Davies 2002: 135-37)

Part 3. Traditional Criteria. (Sept 16,18,23, 25)

( Readings for Sept 16: Langdon
and Coltheart 2000: 184-198, Fine 2006: 79-97)

(Readings for Sept 18: Spitzer
1990: 389-397)

(Readings for Sept 23: Leudar and
Thomas 2000: 108-112[regular reserve desk])

Discussion class (Sept 25)

First essay due

Part 4. Philosopher’s madmen, skepticism and certainty;
solipsism, holism, hermeneutics and the space of reasons. (Sept 30, Oct 2, 9,
14, 16, 21).

Sept 30: The madness of being certain-or uncertain.

(Reading for Sept 30: Descartes Meditations 1&2;
Wittgenstein, selected passages from On Certainty-)

Oct 2: Schopenhauer on solipsism.

(Reading for Oct 2: Schopenhauer, selected passages and from
the regular reserve desk: Sass 1994: pages 86-112)

Oct 9: Schopenhauer and Sass.

Oct 14: epistemological holism

(reading : passages from Companion to Epistemology and from Dancy’s Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology, sent by email.)

October 16 hermeneutics

(Reading for Oct 15: Phillips 1996 [regular reserve desk])

Oct 21: meaning and the constitutive role of rationality in
Davidson (Reading: Bayne and Pacherie 2004 9”Expeirence, Belief and the
Interpretive Fold” discussion: 83-85)

Midterm exam (Oct 23)

Part 5. Four recent controversies in philosophical,
psychiatric and neuro-scientific literature
: (Oct 28, 30, Nov 4, 6, 13)

Continuum (bias) vs modularity (deficit) analyses. Do
delusions result from fallacious reasoning such as a tendency to jump to
conclusions that is merely a more extreme form of normal illogic? (Reading for
Oct 28: Jones, Delespaul and Os, a debate. 2003)

Is an essentialist definition possible? Or is
delusion some sort of Wittgensteinian family resemblance concept? (Reading for
Oct 30: Oltmanns 1988: pages 3-11[e-reserve])

Doxastic and meta-cognitive approaches. Are all
delusions forms of belief? (Readings for Nov 4-6: Berrios 1990, Fulford
1991, also Bayne and Pacherie 2005)

Top down vs bottom up causal accounts. Are delusional
states prompted by underlying abnormal experiences, rather than resulting from
reasoning bias? ( Readings for Nov 13: Langdon and Coltheart 2000: 207-213,
Hohwy 2004)

November 13: discussion class.

Part 6: dangerous delusions (Nov 18, 20, 25)

November 18: paranoid delusions and attributional bias. (Reading: Bentall 2003 ‘On the Paranoid World View’ [e-reserve])

November 20: Guest speaker: Dr Fayez El Gabalawi

( El Gabalawi, Political Extremism and Psychopathy as Mutually Reinforcing Phenomena [ Word file sent electronically])

November 25: Jim Jones’ delusions (reading: Twemlowe and Hough, ‘The Cult Leader as Agent of a Psychotic Fantasy’ [PDF sent electronically])

Part 7: Religious
Delusions and Religious Belief (Dec 2,4)

December 2: Where to begin?
(Reading: Fulford and Sadler, ‘Mapping the Logical Geography of Delusion and
Spiritual Experience’ [Word file sent electronically])

December 4: Is there anywhere to stand, or is delusion an essentially contested concept? (Reading: Radden, Commentary on Fulford and Sadler, ‘Mapping’ [Word file sent

Part 8: Connecting the dots (Dec 9,11)

Dec 9, Guest speaker: Kelso Cratsley, topic and readings to be announced.

Final essay due.

Dec 11. Last class.

Most readings are available on e-reserves. The exceptions
are a handful that I will put on regular reserve (Healy Library 3rd
floor), as well as Descartes’s Meditations, and several materials I’m
sending along as email attachments.


Bayne 2004 Experience, belief, and the interpretive fold. PP&P: pages 83-5.

Bayne and Pacherie 2005 In defense of doxastic conception of
delusions. Mind&Language.

Berrios, G. 1991. Delusion as ‘wrong beliefs’: a conceptual
history. British Journal of Psychiatry 159 (supp vol 14): 6-13.

Davies, M. and Coltheart 2003 Monothematic Delusions:
Towards a two-factor Account. PP&P

Descartes, Meditations 1&2

Fine,C 2006. A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts
and Deceives.
New York: WW Norton& Co.

Fulford 1991 Evaluative delusions: their significance for
philosophy and psychiatry. British Journal of Psychiatry Suppl.Nov (14):

Fulford, Thornton and Graham 2006 Oxford Textbook of
Philosophy and Psychiatry
London: Oxford University Press.

Garety, P. 1991 Reasoning and Delusions. British Journal
of Psychiatry
159 (supp.14) 14-18.

Gerrans, P. 2003 Cognitive Architecture and the Limits of

Ghaemi 2004 The Perils of Belief: Delusions Reconsidered. PP&P
Vol 11, No 1 (March) 49-54.

Gipps and Fulford 2004 Understanding the clinical concept
of delusion. International Review of Psychiatry.

Hohwy 2004 Top-down and bottom-up delusion formation. PP&P
Vol 11 (1) March

Jaspers 1963 General Psychopathology. Translated by
Hoenig and Hamilton. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Langdon and Coltheart 2000 The cognitive neuropsychology of
delusions. Mind &Language 15 (March):184-

Leeser and O’Donahue 1999 What is a delusion?
Epistemological dimensions. J Abnormal Psychology 108 (4): 687-94

Leudar and Thomas 2000. Voices of Reason, Voices of
Insanity: Studies of Verbal Hallucinations.
New York and London: Routledge.

Oltmans 1988 Approaches to the definition and study of
delusions. In Oltmanns and Maher eds Delusional Beliefs. New York: John

Peters, E. 2001 Are delusions on a continuum? The case of
religious and delusional beliefs. In Clarke (ed) Psychosis and spirituality:
Exploring the new frontier
: 191-207.

Phillips, J. 1996 Key Concepts: Hermeneutics. PP&P
Vol 3 (1): 61-69.

Sass, L. 1994. The Paradoxes of Delusion: Wittgenstein,
Schreber, and the Schizophrenic Mind.
Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Spitzer, M, 1990 On defining delusions. Comprehensive
.31 (5): 377-397.

Stanton and David 2000 First-person accounts of delusions. Psychiatric

Wittgenstein,L. 1963 On Certainty.

Patti Ross: Narratives and Knowledge

PHIL110-03 Narratives and Knowledge
Spring 2007

Course description

Literature can provide us with insight -- some would even argue knowledge -- about the world. Others deride this idea, claiming that nothing other than rigorous scientific method can produce such insights and knowledge. This course introduces philosophy throught examinations of what it means for something to be knowledge and of the role that science and literature have to play in producing objective claims about the world. We will approach these questions by focusing on a body of literature that can loosely be labeled `memoirs of mental illness'.
Topics to be covered include: knowledge, objectivity, perspectivalism and

Patricia Ross

Philosophy Department

Carleton College

Class Blog


The class discussions will be based on the indicated readings. Read them
before the lecture.

Mar 27

Course overview


Plato's Republic
(you will find the Allegory of the Cave at the beginning of Book VII)

Descartes' Meditations

(Meditations I, II and II will give you the Cogito argument)

Mar 29

Knowledge: Questions of knowing reality, how we know it exists and how we know its nature

Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy

Chapters 1, 2 and 3

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Leibniz entry contains his account of idealism

Apr 3

Knowledge: Idealism, Knowledge by acquaintance vs. description, induction

Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy

Chapters 4, 5 and 6

Hume, Discourse

The problem of induction in discussed in section 4

Apr 5

Knowledge: What we can know, the problem of metaphysics

A. J. Ayer, Language, Truth and Logic

The Elimination of Metaphysics, Ch. 1

Monet's Haystacks

Apr 10

Knowledge: Induction, authority and Popper's solution to "what can be known"

K. Popper, Induction and Knowledge

The Problem of Induction, Knowledge without Authority

Apr 12


M. Hornbacher, Wasted

Apr 17

Objectivity: Pluralism and Knowledge

K. Popper, Objective Knowledge, Realism and Pluralism

Apr 19

Objectivity: Objective Knowledge: Why Science?

I, Lakatos, Science and Pseudoscience

Apr 24

Objectivity: Intersubjective Objectivity and Perspectivalism

H. Longino, Science as Social Knowledge, Chapter 4, e-reserve

Apr 26

Review of material so far

May 1

May 3

Multiple Personality

C. West, First Person Plural

May 8


I. Hacking, Rewriting the Soul, Chapters 1 and 2, e-reserve

May 10

Subjectivity: The relationship between objectivity and subjectivity reconsidered

J. Searle, Social Ontology:
Some Basic Principles.
(third article from bottom)

May 15


W. James, Principles of Psychology, Chapter 9,
and The Standford Encyclopedia entry on Self-knowledge

May 17

Subjectivity: Qualia and first-person experience

F. Jackson, Epiphenomenal Qualia,

T. Nagel, "What is it like to be a bat?"

May 22


K.R. Jamison, An Unquiet Mind

May 24

L. Slater, Lying