Ethics of Mental Illness

My current research interests is concerned with ethical issues related to mental illness / psychiatric disorders. I am interested in questions such as:

  • How does mental illness fit in with disability ethics?
  • What special duties do we have towards those with mental illness?
  • What is mental illness / what are psychiatric disorders and what terminology should we use when talking about them?
  • How can we conceptualise psychological distress?


This project addresses the ethical problems surrounding self-harming behaviours, something which has been neglected in philosophy so far. I do not restrict my investigation to medical ethics, but seek to examine how we should think about self-harm in a broader societal context. This allows me to examine not just physical self-injury, but also alternative modes of self-harm (digital self-harm, engaging in risky behaviours with the intention of harming oneself, etc.).

Examining these issues opens up new opportunities to consider the nature of the self and the way in which we related to ourselves as embodied persons.

This is the first step in what I hope will be a larger project examining ethical issues related to mental disorders in wider society, rather than limited to medical ethics.

My approach to philosophy is eclectic: I started out in analytic philosophy, but also draw on traditions in critical theory, continental philosophy, feminism, phenomenology.

I always aim to keep my reading list pleasantly interdisciplinary as I draw on ideas from anthropology, psychiatry, psychology and sociology.

Other Research Interests

  • Research Methods in Philosophy
  • Democratic Public Sphere and Deliberation
  • Identity, (Dis)Advantage and Marginalisation
  • Social epistemology
  • Philosophy of Mind and Action, Enactivism