Hanna Pickard is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University. She is also appointed with the William H. Miller Department of Philosophy, the Berman Institute of Bioethics, and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.
Her expertise is deep and spread across a wide variety of disciplines. As an analytic philosopher, she specializes in philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychiatry, moral psychology, and clinical ethics. She also worked for a decade at The Oxfordshire Complex Needs Service, a specialist service in the NHS for people diagnosed with personality disorders and complex needs. Her work tends to address the sticky debates that arise in clinical practice.
She has over 35 academic publications and has co-edited The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Science of Addiction. Pickard maintains an important thread between clinical work in the real world and her philosophical writings, attending to topics like the nature of mental disorders, delusions, agency, character, emotions, self-harm, violence, placebos, therapeutic relationships, decision-making capacity, the self and social identity, and attitudes towards mental disorder and crime.
In this interview, she discusses her novel and possibly controversial model for understanding addiction, the numerous shortcomings of the neurobiological model, the importance of centering patient agency, and her work in therapeutic communities.
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