Bennett Knox

Title | Organization: 
Graduate Student | M.A. program in Philosophy
Student Year: 
1st Year M.A. Student

My main interest areas are in the Philosophy of Psychiatry, Philosophy of Mind, and the History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine. In particular, I am interested in how theories and practices in Psychiatry are influenced by socio-historical factors, and how the specialty interacts with broader societal norms surrounding mental functioning. I believe that Psychiatry currently finds itself in a potential period of what Thomas Kuhn called “scientific revolution,” and that rigorous critical analysis of the philosophical underpinnings of psychiatric theory is needed at present if psychiatric science is to progress to a more nuanced and fruitful theoretical paradigm. Within the psychiatric field, my main areas of knowledge and interest are those around mood/affect, anxiety, and addiction. From the philosophical direction, I am interested in how philosophical ideas about the nature of identity and subjectivity, freedom/agency and responsibility, and normative ethics come to influence psychiatric theory and practice, as well as the broader societal treatment of those demarcated as mentally ill.

I am also interested in the challenges that critical theories such as Feminist Philosophy of Science and Critical Race Theory present to the practices of science more broadly, specifically how matters of social identity and power relations come to bear on the process of scientific inquiry and knowledge production. As such, I am interested in exploring how scientific communities and institutions (including Psychiatry) are influenced by systemic inequalities and biases related to matters of social identity, and how these issues might be addressed. I also have secondary interests in the fields of Ethics, Epistemology, and Metaphysics, as these are so often inextricably tied into the issues mentioned above.
I received my BA with concentrations in Biology and Gender & Sexuality Studies from Brown University in 2015. As such, I maintain an active interest in critical theories of sex/gender and of the biological/social divide/continuum. Outside of a strictly academic context, I enjoy reading science fiction and fantasy, especially works that explore issues related to gender, race, sexuality, and other matters of social identity and difference.