Research Platform

The Philosophy and Psychology Academic Exchange

In this project we bring together researchers working in philosophy and psychology to evaluate competing theoretical frameworks of the mind. We focus in particular on a comparative analysis of the evidential, theoretical and philosophical foundations of two rival paradigms for psychotherapeutic practice: cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and Gestalt psychology (GP).

We aim to investigate the following questions:

(1) What is the relation between clinical practice and theoretical accounts of the mind?
(2) What are the similarities and differences between CBT and GP, and are they competing or complementary approaches?
(3) How might theoretical commitments influence clinical research and practice, including through ‘allegiance bias’?

Philosophy and psychology are both humanistic disciplines in the sense that they speak to a human need for self-understanding. Through this project we hope to build bridges between philosophy and clinical psychology, to foster an interdisciplinary and integrated approach towards better understanding the human mind, especially as revealed through moments of crisis or radical upheaval.

We will investigate these questions through an online workshop to be held in November 2022, involving a range of speakers from across philosophy and clinical psychology, including leading figures in both CBT and GP. Along with a range of internationally recognised speakers we will invite participation from domestic researchers as well, to facilitate the development of research networks within Japan as well as abroad.

代表者Michael CAMPBELL is an Assistant Professor in the department of Ethics at Kyoto University. He currently holds a Kakenhi research grant entitled ‘Wittgenstein and Gestalt Psychology: Therapeutic Insights’ (2022-2025). His research focuses on better understanding the theoretical foundations of Gestalt psychology and their contemporary relevance. He is the co-editor of Wittgenstein and Perception (Routledge, 2015) and has published numerous articles in normative and applied ethics.
メンバーEthan SAHKER is an Assistant Professor and counseling psychologist in the Graduate School of Medicine at Kyoto University. He completed his clinical training at the University of California San Diego/Veterans Affairs and completed a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science postdoctoral research fellowship at Kyoto University in the School of Public Health. His research focuses on substance use treatment clinical epidemiology, identifying health disparities, social capital supports, and primary care technology-based access points for underserved communities. His clinical training is in cognitive behavioral therapies for trauma and substance use.
連絡先Michael CAMPBELL


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There has always been a gap between theory in practice in every discipline. Psychotherapy arose out of philosophical thought but both fields have evolved in different directions, losing their connections. In this workshop, we will invite researchers and practitioners from both fields to discuss similarities and differences in academic thought to begin bridging the gap between theory and practice.