Department of PhilosophyWestern Arts and Humanities

Louis Charland

Louis Charland


Emotion Theory, Philosophy of Psychiatry, Cognitive Science, Health Care Ethics

BA, MA Carleton; PhD Western

Office: Stevenson Hall, Room 3133
Phone: 519-661-2111 ext. 85748
Website: Personal

On leave from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016

My current research focuses on the history and philosophy of affective terms and concepts (like ‘emotion’), the philosophy of medicine and psychiatry (for example ‘valence’ and  ‘disease’), as well as issues in bioethics that touch on these areas in a central way (like the role of affectivity in ‘appreciation’ in decision-making capacity). I am currently writing and compiling a series of case studies where the distinction between ‘passion’ and ‘emotion’ plays a central theoretical role in psychological explanation. That project includes work on philosophical thinkers like Descartes, Locke, Kant, Hume, Rousseau, William James and Théodule Ribot, as well as scientific thinkers like Sir Alexander Crichton, Philippe Pinel, and Jean Etienne Esquirol and Pierre Janet. I am also very much interested in contemporary neuroscience of emotion (‘affective neuroscience’) and its history.

Some recent publications

The Distinction between "Passion" and "Emotion" - Vincenzo Chiarugi , A Case Study. History of Psychiatry. 2015 (25)4, 477-484.

Contagion, Identity, Misinformation: Challenges for Psychiatric Ethics in the Age of the Internet. In The Oxford Handbook of Psychiatric Ethics, Volume 2. Edited by John Z. Sadler, Bill Fulford, and Cornelius Werendly van Staden. Published online Dec. 2014, Print Version 2015.

Why Psychiatry Should Fear Medicalization. In The Oxford Handbook for Philosophy and Psychiatry. Edited by  Bill Fulford, Martin Davies, Richard Gipps, George Graham, John Sadler, Giovanni Stranghelinni, Tim Thorton. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, 159-176.