Dementia: Mind, Meaning, and the Person

Paperback | December 8, 2005

EditorJulian Hughes, Stephen Louw, Steven R Sabat

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Dementia is an illness that raises important questions about our own attitudes to illness and aging. It also raises very important issues beyond the bounds of dementia to do with how we think of ourselves as people - fundamental questions about personal identity. Is the person with dementiathe same person he or she was before? Is the individual with dementia a person at all? In a striking way, dementia seems to threaten the very existence of the self. This book brings together philosophers and practitioners to explore the conceptual issues that arise in connection with this increasingly common illness. Drawing on a variety of philosophers such as Descartes, Locke, Hume, Wittgenstein, the authors explore the nature of personal identity indementia. They also show how the lives and selfhood of people with dementia can be enhanced by attention to their psychosocial and spiritual environment. Throughout, the book conveys a strong ethical message, arguing in favour of treating people with dementia with all the dignity they deserve ashuman beings. The book covers a range of topics, stretching from talk of basic biology to talk of a spiritual understanding of people with dementia. Accessibly written by leading figures in psychiatry and philosophy, the book presents a unique and long overdue examination of an illness that featuresin so many of our lives.

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From the Publisher

Dementia is an illness that raises important questions about our own attitudes to illness and aging. It also raises very important issues beyond the bounds of dementia to do with how we think of ourselves as people - fundamental questions about personal identity. Is the person with dementiathe same person he or she was before? Is the i...

Dr Julian C. Hughes is currently the Chair of the Philosophy Special Interest Group of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Dr Stephen J. Louw is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of South Africa, of the Royal College of Physicians of London, and of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. He is currently Vice Chair of t...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:328 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.72 inPublished:December 8, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198566158

ISBN - 13:9780198566151

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Table of Contents

1. Julian C Hughes, Stephen J Louw and Steven R Sabat: Seeing whole2. Michael Bavidge: Ageing and human nature3. A. Harry Lesser: Dementia and personal identity4. John McMillan: Identity: self and dementia5. Jennifer Radden and Joan M Fordyce: Into the darkness: losing identity with dementia6. E. Jonathan Lowe: Can the self disintegrate? Personal identity, psychopathology and disunities of consciousness7. Michael Luntley: Keeping track, autobiography and the conditions for self erosion8. Tim Thornton: The discursive turn, social constructionism and dementia9. Carmelo Aquilina and Julian C. Hughes: The return of the living dead: agency lost and found?10. Eric Matthews: Dementia and the identity of the person11. Guy A M Widdershoven and Ron L P Berghmans: Meaning-making in dementia: a hermeneutic perspective12. Catherine Oppenheimer: I am, thou art: personal identity in dementia13. F Brian Allen and Peter G Coleman: Spiritual perspectives on the person with dementia: identity and personhood14. Stephen G Post: 'Respectare': moral respect for the lives of the deeply forgetful15. Murna Downs, Linda Clare and Jenny Mackenzie: Understandings of dementia: explanatory models and their implications for the person with dementia and therapeutic effort16. Lisa Snyder: Personhood and interpersonal communication in dementia17. Harry Cayton: From childhood to childhood? Autonomy and dependence through the ages of life18. Steven R Sabat: Mind, meaning and personhood in dementia: the effects of positioning

Editorial Reviews

"It is a worthwhile read for anyone working with people with dementia and will repay the time and effort involved. Using a range of philosophical perspectives, it explores some fascinating questions about the nature of self: is the person with dementia the same person as they were before? Are they even fully a person? It answers these questions with humanity, making a powerful case for recognising the inherent personhood of people with dementia."--Mental Health Today "This book squares off against the dark history of European culture with strenuous intellectual effort."--Journal of Interprofessional Core "Accessibly written by leading figures in dementia care, psychiatry, and philosophy, the book presents a unique examination of an illness that will affect our lives directly or indirectly and promotes a person-centered approach to dementia care. The book is recommended for a broad audience of health care providers and family caregivers."--Journal of Clinical Psychiatry "Accessibly written by leading figures in dementia care, psychiatry, and philosophy, the book presents a unique examination of an illness that will affect our lives directly or indirectly and promotes a person-centered approach to dementia care. The book is recommended for a broad audience of health care providers and family caregivers."--Psychiatrist.com