The University of Pretoria in South Africa announces excitedly that, supported by The International Network of Philosophy & Psychiatry (INPP) and the World Psychiatric Association’s (WPA) Section for the Philosophy & History of Psychiatry, Professor Werdie van Staden has recently been appointed to the first professorial chair in philosophy & psychiatry outside Europe.
This Chair at the University of Pretoria in South Africa is a significant development for both the International Network and for philosophers and mental health workers in Africa. Although representing the new discipline of philosophy and psychiatry in most parts of the world through about 40 national associations, the International Network has been drawing mainly on the philosophies of Western Europe and North America in establishing the subject’s research base. Rich and productive as these philosophies have proven to be, they represent less than a third of the world, missing out on contributions to the field from a major continent such as Africa. The new chair will open up hitherto rather unexplored philosophies of Africa and create opportunities to mobilise and develop contributions from Africa to the field. Accordingly, open seminars and symposia as well as training and research opportunities towards master’s and doctoral degrees in the Philosophy & Ethics of Mental Health have been set up in South Africa. More details are at www.up.ac.za/pemh or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.