Philosophy

PPIG: Philosophy, Psychology, and Informatics Group

Speaker: Hane Maung (University of Manchester)

Title: Studying Suicide: A Philosophy of Science Perspective

Abstract: This paper examines the complex research landscape of contemporary suicidology from a philosophy of science perspective. I begin by unpacking the methods, concepts, and assumptions of some of the prominent approaches to studying suicide causation, including psychological autopsy studies, epidemiological studies, biological studies, and qualitative studies. I then analyse the different ways these approaches partition the causes of suicide, with particular emphasis on the ways they conceptualise the domain of mental disorder. I argue that these different ways of partitioning the causal space and conceptualising mental disorder result in incommensurabilities between the approaches. These incommensurabilities restrict the degrees to which the different approaches can be integrated, thus lending support to explanatory pluralism in the study of suicide causation. They also shed light on some of the philosophical underpinnings of the disagreement between mainstream suicidology and the emerging area of critical suicidology.

Further information

We are a group of researchers from diverse backgrounds in the above-mentioned groups (and beyond) who aim to gain an interdisciplinary yet deep understanding of the threads that bind the human mind and the world. Please come along!

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Contact details

Dr Alistair Isaac

Oct 23 2019 -

PPIG: Philosophy, Psychology, and Informatics Group

2019-10-23: Studying Suicide: A Philosophy of Science Perspective

Room 1.20, Dugald Stewart Building, 3 Charles Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AD