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Implications of postmaterialist theories of consciousness for psychiatry: towards an integral paradigm

   | 12. Dez. 2022


Mental health professionals can help patients understand exceptional and paranormal experiences, integrate them into day-to-day life, and cope with confusion and anxiety that sometimes accompany them. However, a broader clinical perspective and specialized training in clinical parapsychology is needed. In the first part of the paper I argue that psychiatry as currently practiced is limited because it embraces a strictly materialist paradigm, emphasizes treatment over prevention, and relies principally on pharmaceuticals that are often ineffective and/or unsafe. A paradigm shift in psychiatry is taking place that will soon lead to novel concepts of energy and innovations in therapeutic approaches. In the second part of the paper I review the ongoing debate over consciousness, implications of novel understandings of energy for psychiatry, and research findings in physics, neuroscience and parapsychology that are contributing to a postmaterialist paradigm in psychiatry. I comment on an important problem in the philosophy of science called Hempel’s dilemma and argue that future scientific theories of consciousness will probably encounter similar conceptual limits to those faced by current theories. Following Beauregard, Trent and Schwartz (2018) I argue that different categories of theories may be needed to adequately explain the variety of human experiences and I propose an integral paradigm that acknowledges the validity of both conventional scientific explanations and postmaterialist theories of consciousness. Finally, I discuss implications of postmaterialism for research, education and training in psychiatry.

Zeitrahmen der Veröffentlichung:
Volume Open
Fachgebiete der Zeitschrift:
Philosophie, Metaphysik, Ontologie, Erkenntnistheorie, Sozialwissenschaften, Pädagogik, Bildungssysteme