Academic journal article South African Journal of Psychiatry

First Professorial Chair in Philosophy and Psychiatry outside Europe

Academic journal article South African Journal of Psychiatry

First Professorial Chair in Philosophy and Psychiatry outside Europe

Article excerpt

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The editorial team of the South African Journal of Psychiatry is delighted to report that the editor of this journal, Professor Werdie van Staden, has recently been appointed as Professor of Philosophy & Psychiatry, heading the new Division of Philosophy and Ethics of Mental Health at the University of Pretoria.

This chair, which is the first such appointment outside Europe, is a significant development for the International Network for Philosophy & Psychiatry and for philosophers and mental health workers in Africa. Although representing the new discipline of philosophy and psychiatry in most parts of the world through about 40 national associations, the International Network has been drawing mainly on the philosophies of Western Europe and North America in establishing the subject's research base. Rich and productive as these philosophies have proven to be, they represent less than a third of the world, missing out on contributions to the field from a major continent such as Africa. The new chair will open up hitherto rather unexplored philosophies of Africa and create opportunities to mobilise and develop contributions from Africa to the field. Accordingly, open seminars and symposia as well as training and research opportunities towards master's and doctoral degrees in the philosophy and ethics of mental health have been set up in South Africa.

Regarding the new master's programme, the MPhil in Philosophy & Ethics of Mental Health, Van Staden says the programme is intended for people who want to advance their previous education that was in a field relevant to mental health or in philosophy. …

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