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 dementia the 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 in dementia. 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 as human 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 features in so many of our lives.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 328
Weight: 494 g
Dimensions: 233 x 157 x 18 mm
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. * Helen Lavretsky MD, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 69:8 *
...this book constitutes a unique and valuable contribution to the field, contextualizing understandings of selfhood and identity in dementia in a broad philosophical and theological literature. ...his collection of chapters is bound to inform and challenge readers of the Dementia journal to think broadly about both understandings of dementia and of personal identity more generally. * Dementia 6(2), *
The book covers not only the philosophical but also social, spiritual, ethical and practical perspectives and the negative, soul-destroying attitudes about dementia in modern society...This is a good book. It will not change base metal into gold but via a mosaic of ideas introduces a way of thinking. Ostensibly it is about dementia...about what it is to be human. * British Journal of Psychiatry, Vol 190 *
It is clear from this collection that bodily intentionality, spiritual and religious faith, emotion and relational capacity must count as morally relevant features of the person whose self-consciousness and memory have faded. One hopes that Dementia: Mind, Meaning and the Person will inspire further philosophical quests for a more exhaustive and inclusive understanding of personhood and the application of such insights to practice. * Ageing and Society *