Being Yourself: Authentic Decision-Making and Depression
This chapter discusses authentic decision-making as it relates to depression based on three parallel concepts found in philosophy, psychology, and the law. Since major depression is characterised (amongst other things) by ‘symptoms of sadness and diminished interest or pleasure’, ‘feelings of worthlessness/excessive/inappropriate guilt’ and a ‘cognitive triad of pessimism regarding the self, the world and the future’, the chapter explores whether an individual who has these symptoms can act on a judgment, thought, or belief in a way that lacks authenticity. It first explains, in philosophical terms, why autonomous decision-making presupposes a ‘personal identity’, before outlining a series of clinical observations suggesting that competence to make a decision requires an ‘appreciative ability’. It also considers whether the legal test for the capacity to make a decision has a component that is equivalent to ‘personal identity’ or an ‘appreciative ability’.
Editor: Foster, C; Herring, J
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Keywords: Authentic decision-making; Depression; Philosophy; Psychology; Law; Authenticity; Autonomous decision-making; Personal identity; Competence; Appreciative ability
Research Type: Chapter in Book