Is Borderline Personality Disorder a Moral or Clinical Condition? Assessing Charland’s Argument from Treatment

Neuroethics 7 (2):215-226 (2014)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Louis Charland has argued that the Cluster B personality disorders, including borderline personality disorder, are primarily moral rather than clinical conditions. Part of his argument stems from reflections on effective treatment of borderline personality disorder. In the argument from treatment, he claims that successful treatment of all Cluster B personality disorders requires a positive change in a patient’s moral character. Based on this claim, he concludes (1) that these disorders are, at root, deficits in moral character, and (2) that effective treatment of these disorders requires a sort of moral education rather than clinical intervention. In this paper, I evaluate the argument from treatment through a critical analysis of two psychotherapeutic interventions that have shown recent effectiveness against borderline personality disorder. I suggest that both Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Mentalization-Based Treatment indicate that borderline personality disorder is, at root, a deficit in non-moral cognitive and emotional capacities. I suggest that these non-moral deficits obscure the expression of an otherwise intact moral character. In light of this, I conclude that effective treatment of borderline personality disorder requires primarily clinical intervention rather than moral edification
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
First archival date: 2015-07-07
Latest version: 2 (2015-07-07)
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Personality Disorders.Charland, Louis C.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
2,317 ( #640 of 44,385 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1,141 ( #170 of 44,385 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.