The uniqueness of life: a review of Peter Hacker’s “Human Nature: the Categorial Framework” and its implications for the mind-body problem and our understanding of mental disorder

Peter Hacker is an eminent philosopher and one of the world’s leading authorities on Wittgenstein. He has published a four volume analytical commentary on the Philosophical Investigations and a brilliant little book on Wittgenstein’s philosophy of mind, now sadly out of print (1). He is also well known for his debunking of neuroscientific reductionism in…

Persistent withdrawal and lasting damage from prescribed drugs

  The recent furore caused by publication of evidence about the serious nature of antidepressant withdrawal made me reflect on the lasting damage that can sometime be done by prescription drugs, and how it has often taken concerted efforts by users of these drugs to bring these effects to public attention. Historically, the medical community…

Commentary on the Finnish analysis of first episode schizophrenia outcomes

A recent study by a Finnish group declares that discontinuing antipsychotics following a first episode of schizophrenia causes higher risk of death or rehospitalisation. The study is based on an observational analysis of routinely collected data, and these analyses can be seriously misleading. It also prioritises short-term outcomes. The study highlights the need for randomised…

Challenging the new hype about antidepressants

The extraordinary media hype over the latest meta-analysis of antidepressants puts the discussion of these drugs back years. Despite the fact that 9% of the UK population are taking antidepressants (1), and rates of prescribing have doubled over the last decade (2), the authors of the analysis are calling for yet more prescribing. John Geddes…