About us

Member Year of joining Position
Dr Abdi Sanati 2010 (C) Chair
Professor Drozdstoj Stoyanov 2012 (C) Vice Chair
Dr Lisa Conlan 2012 (C) Finance Officer
Dr Gwynnyth Adshead 2012 (C) Committee Member
Prof. Deborah Bowman 2013 (C) Committee Member
Dr John Callender 2010 (C) Committee Member
Dr Subodh Dave 2012 (C) Committee Member
Prof. Kenneth Fulford 2011 (C) Committee Member
Dr Allerdiena Hubbeling 2011 (C) Website Content Editor
Prof. Julian Hughes 2011 (C) Committee Member
Dr Afzal Javed 2012 (C) Committee Member
Dr Elselijn Kingma 2012 (C) Committee Member
Dr Marek Marzanski 2012 (C) Committee Member
Dr Edward Mitchell 2012 (C) Committee Member
Dr Gareth Owen 2012 (C) Committee Member
Dr Hanna Pickard 2011 (C) Committee Member
Dr Stephen Ramplin 2010 (C) Newsletter Editor
Ms Elizabeth Shaw 2014 (C) Committee Member
Dr Tim Thornton 2012 (C) Committee Member

You can find the old newsletters, reports, minutes etc. on  INPP.

Go to Member Associations>United Kingdom>RCPsych.

Over the years the philosophy SIG has supported meetings with the Philadelphia Association. In 2007, the two groups conjointly organised the 4th RD Laing Conference. In recent years the philosophy SIG has also put on workshops or symposia in the Annual College Meeting.

Members of the SIG have been instrumental in building up the International Network for Philosophy and Psychiatry (INPP). The INPP website hosts a Resource Base of references, précis, and links to relevant publications in the interdisciplinary field. There are now links with similar groups in over 20 countries.

The INPP has pursued a series of international conferences every few years, the 14th International Conference for Philosophy and Psychiatry was held in September 2011 in Gothenborg Sweden: 

Ethics, Experience and Evidence: Integration of Perspectives in Psychiatry -  videos of the Conference

Our connections with our American counterpart, the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry, led to a new journal called Philosophy Psychology and Psychiatry (PPP). Launched in 1993, it is still published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

Following the success of PPP, Oxford University Press has brought out a series entitled International Perspectives on Philosophy and Psychiatry. Professor Bill Fulford, one of the founding members of the Philosophy SIG is joint editor of the series (he was also a joint founding editor of PPP). This series now has a large number of volumes relevant to the philosophy and practice of psychiatry.

The philosophy SIG focuses on a central aim, which is to encourage philosophical thought and conceptual analysis amongst psychiatrists. To this end, we are delighted that the new curriculum for the membership examination includes a specific focus on philosophy and ethics.

The philosophy SIG continues to encourage educational activities within the College both through workshops at the Annual Meeting and also through other CPD activities, which include the running of local groups.

Local groups always depend on the enthusiasm of individuals and, as such, such groups have come and gone. The Scottish section of the philosophy SIG continues to foster meetings on a regular basis. There has been a strong group formed in London centred on the Maudsley and, in recent years the HUMAN Group in Nottingham has been encouraging interdisciplinary meetings.

Other groups have existed in the past in both Sheffield and Oxford and the philosophy SIG would always be pleased to hear of local groups and to advertise their meetings.

Research is also an important part of the dialogue between philosophers and psychiatrists.The Philosophy SIG has links with teaching and research programmes at Oxford and London.

Masters and doctoral programmes have been available from a number of universities in recent years in relation to philosophy and psychiatry. The Institute of Philosophy, Diversity and Mental Health at the University of Central Lancashire runs a distance learning masters programme based on the Oxford Textbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry. Also available by local teaching and/or distance learning is:

MPhil in Philosophy & Ethics of Mental Health at University of Pretoria, South Africa.

One of the functions of the philosophy SIG is to examine the ways in which philosophy can be brought to bear on practice and also seen to emerge from the context of practice.

A main contention of those interested in the philosophy of psychiatry is that conceptual problems lie at the heart of clinical practice. It is for this reason that we are excited that the work of the philosophy SIG continues to burgeon and broaden.

In the last few years we have seen philosophy of psychiatry having an impact on initiatives within the Department of Health through, for instance, the notion of values based practice. For instance, we can now point to documents from the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) and the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that make reference to values based practice, a concept that has emerged directly from work in the philosophy of psychiatry.

The development of the philosophy SIG over the last 25 years has been exciting and stimulating for all those involved and there is no reason to believe that this excitement and stimulation is set to do anything other than to continue in the future.

The following podcast gives a good introduction into philosophy of psychiatry.

Upcoming Events:

Transcultural and Philosophy Special Interest Groups Joint Meeting- Cultural values in contemporary psychiatry

Date: 22 May 2019, 09:30 - 16:00 

Venue: Royal College of Psychiatrists, London

Please see programme for further information. Booking is now open.

Philosophy Special Interest Group Annual General Meeting

Date: 02-03 September, timings TBC

Venue: Royal College of Psychiatrists, London

Further information to follow.

Membership is open to all Members of or Associates of the College. Others may apply and be invited to join at the discretion of the Chair.

To join, please complete our online application form or email the College Membership Section.

Get in contact to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry