Book: Mental Causation – A Counterfactual Theory

Book Title:

Mental Causation – A Counterfactual Theory.

Author(s): Thomas Kroedel.

Year: 2019.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Cambridge University Press.

Type(s): Hardcover and Kindle.

Synopsis:

Our minds have physical effects. This happens, for instance, when we move our bodies when we act. How is this possible?

Thomas Kroedel defends an account of mental causation in terms of difference-making: if our minds had been different, the physical world would have been different; therefore, the mind causes events in the physical world.

His account not only explains how the mind has physical effects at all, but solves the exclusion problem – the problem of how those effects can have both mental and physical causes. It is also unprecedented in scope, because it is available to dualists about the mind as well as physicalists, drawing on traditional views of causation as well as on the latest developments in the field of causal modelling.

It will be of interest to a range of readers in philosophy of mind and philosophy of science. This book is also available as Open Access.

Book: Encyclopedia of Mental Health

Book Title:

Encyclopedia of Mental Health.

Author(s): Howard S. Friedman.

Year: 2015.

Edition: Second (2nd).

Publisher: Academic Press.

Type(s): Hardcover and Kindle.

Synopsis:

The Encyclopedia of Mental Health, Second Edition, tackles the subject of mental health, arguably one of the biggest issues facing modern society. The book presents a comprehensive overview of the many genetic, neurological, social, and psychological factors that affect mental health, also describing the impact of mental health on the individual and society, and illustrating the factors that aid positive mental health.

The book contains 245 peer-reviewed articles written by more than 250 expert authors and provides essential material on assessment, theories of personality, specific disorders, therapies, forensic issues, ethics, and cross-cultural and sociological aspects. Both professionals and libraries will find this timely work indispensable.

  • Provides fully up-to-date descriptions of the neurological, social, genetic, and psychological factors that affect the individual and society.
  • Contains more than 240 articles written by domain experts in the field.
  • Written in an accessible style using terms that an educated layperson can understand.
  • Of interest to public as well as research libraries with coverage of many important topics, including marital health, divorce, couples therapy, fathers, child custody, day care and day care providers, extended families, and family therapy.

Causes of Mental Illness

Currently, mental illness is thought to be caused by a complex interaction of factors, including the following:

  • Hereditary;
  • Biologic (physical factors);
  • Psychologic; and/or
  • Environmental (including social and cultural factors).

Research has shown that for many mental health disorders, heredity plays a part. Often, a mental health disorder occurs in people whose genetic make-up makes them vulnerable to such disorders. This vulnerability, combined with life stresses, such as difficulties with family or at work, can lead to the development of a mental disorder.

Also, many experts think that impaired regulation of chemical messengers in the brain (neurotransmitters) may contribute to mental health disorders.

Brain imaging techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), often show changes in the brains of people with a mental health disorder.

Thus, many mental health disorders appear to have a biologic component, much like disorders that are considered neurologic (such as Alzheimer disease).

However, whether the changes seen on imaging tests are the cause or result of the mental health disorder is unclear.