THE MANY FACES OF PERSONALITY DISORDER
It is a pleasure to invite you to The Many Faces of Personality Disorder conference. The event is organized by the newly established multi- and interdisciplinary Understanding Personality Disorders Network affiliated both with the Collaborating Centre for Values-Based Practice in Health and Social Care (St Catherine’s College, Oxford) and the Jagiellonian University’s Institute of Applied Psychology (Kraków). The network seeks to promote an investigation of personality disorders and to inform clinical practice by the outcomes achieved. A special emphasis is laid on the integration of empirical, conceptual, theoretical, and normative issues within broader schemes in particular that of Value-based Practice (VBP).
The Academic Sponsor of the conference is the Philosophy Special Interest Group of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Recent developments in philosophy of psychiatry can be understood not only in terms of
an increasing quantity of research conducted, but also as constituted by formal changes concerning the focus of investigation. One aspect of the latter is a noticeable switch from highly abstract reflection on psychiatry and mental disease as such to more specific and narrow areas often marked by particular nosological categories, like psychoses, or even specific symptoms such as delusions.
This general trend has also affected the study of personality disorders, which have always, at least since Jaspers’ “General Psychopathology,” been recognized as phenomena of considerable specificity. An attempt to investigate personality disorders independently of an exploration of mental disease as such can be justified on a variety of grounds. Some of them include:
(1) a non-trivial and non-self-evident status of the notion of personality disorder
(2) an unclear relationship between the psychiatric concept of personality disorder and the ones of personality (psychology) and character (virtue ethical tradition)
(3) a complex and multidimensional nature of personality pathology and, respectively, a wide rang of disciplines and approaches needed to do justice to the latter
(4) a marked presence of normative issues as well as a debate concerning the proper way of
addressing the latter within a scientific framework
(5) a complex sociocultural background of the medical approach to personality disorders
(6) recent discussions concerning the nosology of personality disorders