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Castel Pierre-Henri

Philosopher, Research Fellow, CNRS

Graduate of the École Normale Supérieure (Ulm-Literature), qualified Philosophy professor, former resident of the Fondation Thiers, PhD in Philosophy and Social Sciences (EHESS), PhD in Clinical and Pathological Psychology (Paris 13 University), Qualified to Direct Research

Contact: pierre-henri.castel(at)parisdescartes.fr

Website : http://pierrehenri.castel.free.fr


Born in Paris in 1963, Pierre-Henri Castel devotes his work to the history and philosophy of mental medicine in the broad sense (in psychiatry, neurology, the neurosciences, and psychoanalysis, including the legal and sociological theories underpinning them). His methodology is one of historical epistemology, in the particular meaning given to this term by Canguilhem, with a focus on how certain fields of knowledge gradually conquered their normative autonomy. He has taken an interest in non-naturalistic philosophy in the tradition of Wittgenstein, Anscombe, and Cavell, as well as in the studies of Vincent Descombes on social sciences, with a special focus on Mauss and Elias.

The core of his research, both current and planned, is to articulate contemporary philosophy of mind, primarily analytical, with the epistemology and history of psychopathology (i.e. the theoretical part of mental medicine). The goal is to develop a nucleus of "psychopathological philosophy", i.e. a philosophy of psychopathology taken as a science, and, indissolubly, a philosophy of psychopathologies as mental illnesses, which would be its supposed objects.

The research draws from two sources: historical scholarship, to serve understanding of the traditional problems of psychiatry and of their evolution; and clinical practice, based on his work at the Ville-Evrard specialized hospital with patients from the 10th sector of Seine Saint-Denis, where he is also a psychoanalyst.

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