Visiting Ashoka Fellow, Bapu Trust, Pune, India; Senior Advocacy Officer, Mental Disability Advocacy Center, Budapest, Hungary
With the onset of quantum theory in the early twentieth century, physics proposed healthy skepticism as an integral way of doing science. In doing so physics departed from the Newtonian paradigm of: Cartesian causality; objectivity of the observer and the observation process; and acknowledged uncertainty as an inherent characteristic of existence; interdependence of observation and observed; and probabilistic interpretation of causality.
Unlike the Newtonian paradigm which had an overarching influence on all fields of knowledge including psychiatry; the “Quantum Paradigm” has remained marginal to the knowledge making process. This is particularly problematic in the case of psychiatry because of the current hegemony of the biomedical school. This school operates on the theoretical assumption that all mental phenomenon are caused by molecular interactions and yet ignores the “Quantum Paradigm” even when any molecular level description cannot be done without relying upon quantum theory. And thus Biomedical Psychiatry has retained a paradigmatic inconsistency in its knowledge formation.
Relying on Kuhnian framework the speaker will elaborate on the Quantum Paradigm developments in physics and will challenge the Newtonian foundations of Biomedical Psychiatry.