photo of Urte  Laukaityte

Urte Laukaityte

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Dissertation advisors: John Campbell and Alva Noƫ

(B.A. Linguistics, University of Cambridge; M.Sc. Philosophy of Cognitive Science, University of Edinburgh) Urte is working within philosophy of psychiatry, aiming to formulate a broadly mechanistic non-reductionist account relevant to phenomena like psychogenic conditions, placebo/nocebo, culture-bound syndromes, transient mental illness, mass hysteria, hypnosis, and suchlike. The ultimate goal is to offer a novel testable hypothesis with the potential to contribute to moving psychiatric classificatory and diagnostic practices towards (causally oriented) personalised medicine. A good deal of her thinking draws from empirical research within the so-called predictive processing/active inference framework, which has recently produced stimulating new ways of conceptualising cognition more broadly and mental illness more specifically. In addition, Urte is readily excitable about issues in philosophies of mind, cognitive science, psychology, biology as well as the history and philosophy of medicine generally.

As a result of fairly wide-ranging interests, she is slowly venturing into the world of published writing for a general audience, mostly covering various historical curiosities, such as The First Soviet in Ireland or Mesmerism and the Modern Clinical Trial. To popularise this topic further, Vox created a fun video about it as well. Urte is also assistant producer on the Many Minds podcast.