Call for Papers: Models, Networks, and Multiple Factors in the Philosophy of Psychiatry

Guest Editors: Lena Kästner (Saarland University) & Henrik Walter (Charité Berlin)

General Description:

A major task for philosophy of psychiatry is to investigate how mental disorders can be best conceptualized, modelled and explained. In order to do so, it is necessary to accommodate for their multifactorial and multilevel nature. Within neuroscience, philosophy of science and philosophy of mind, a range of new approaches has recently been proposed to this end. These approaches include, among others, the new mechanist philosophy, artificial (deep) neural networks, symptom network theory, predictive processing, computational psychiatry, connectomics, and 4E-cognition. Although these accounts exhibit promising features for a modern scientific approach to psychiatry, they leave unanswered important questions regarding the theoretical and conceptual foundations of contemporary psychopathology models as well as the practical limitations arising within clinical practice and modelling psychopathology.

Such questions include, but are not limited to: 

  • How shall we conceptualize “disease”, „illness” or “disorder” in the context of psychiatry?
  • What are mental disorders and how can they be demarcated from life problems on the one hand and other somatic disorders on the other?
  • (To what extent) are mental disorders brain disorders?
  • What are specific characteristics and challenges associated with explanations and models of mental illnesses as opposed to other phenomena?
  • How does constructing general models of psychopathology square with personalized treatment strategies?
  • What explanatory approaches to psychopathology may promote epistemically valuable integration?
  • What does such integration imply for our understanding of the relation between mind and brain more generally?
  • What is the contribution of recent computational models for psychopathology research? 
  • How will computational psychiatry shape theory, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders? How can challenges arising in complex models be addressed?
  • How to build causal models of mental disorders? 
  • How to capture and assess the significance of clinical interventions?
  • What may an enactive perspective or first-person methodology add to understanding mental disorders?
  • To what extent is plurality an ineliminable feature of psychiatry?

We invite contributions addressing any of these or related questions. We explicitly invite interdisciplinary contributions to the philosophy of psychiatry from empirical experts, e.g., in clinical psychiatry, neuroscience, computational modelling in addition to contributions from philosophy of mind and cognition as well as philosophy of science.

Submission and Reviews

We encourage submissions in a range of lengths – from approx. 4.000 to 12.000 words. There are no limitations on figures. All submission will be peer-reviewed; there is no guarantee for acceptance into the final volume.

Manuscripts should be submitted through the journal website at

Submissions should be in pdf format, prepared for blind review (with APA citation style and accompanied by a cover sheet (also pdf)  as a separate file containing the following information: title, author details (names, affiliations and email addresses), abstract (max. 250 words), and keywords (max. 10). 

Philosophy and the Mind Sciences is a fully open access journal with no costs for contributors. To keep the journal running, contributors will be expected to review for the journal at least one article in their field to show their support.

Submission Deadline: 31st March 2022

Inquiries regarding this special issue should be directed to under the heading [SI-PhilPsych].