Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Daniel Kelly

Committee Member 1

Daniel Smith

Committee Member 2

Dana Tulodziecki

Committee Member 3

Edouard Machery


When it comes to the topic of mental illness, there are three broad areas of concern that are of interest to all of us as human beings—and to the theorists, researchers, and clinicians who wish to offer help—besides knowing what our symptoms are. First, we might be interested in finding out some normative facts about ourselves as individuals, such as whether or not we are mentally healthy, perhaps to what extent, and how this should affect our motivations. A second area of concern involves descriptive facts our minds. In what ways do we deviate from typical human psychological nature, and what implications does this have? A third concern is about diagnosis, the familiar labels like ‘bipolar 1’ and ‘obsessive compulsive’ which inform our very being. Ought any of these apply to us?