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Dr Mohammed Abouelleil Rashed

Wellcome ISSF Research Fellow


Mohammed Abouelleil Rashed joined Birkbeck in 2017 as a Wellcome ISSF Research Fellow in philosophy and psychiatry. Before that he was Junior Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies at University College London (2015-2016), and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Division of Philosophy and Ethics of Mental Health, University of Pretoria, South Africa (2013-2015).

Mohammed studied medicine at Cairo University Medical School, then trained in psychiatry in London on the Guy's, King's College, and St. Thomas' Hospitals training scheme. He read philosophy at King's College London while completing his core training. After this he moved on to full time research, gaining his PhD from University College London in 2012.
Mohammed's website


  • Mohammed's main research is in philosophy and psychiatry where he has examined a number of topics under the rubric of the 'boundaries of illness': the concepts of mental disorder, distress, and disability; empathy and understanding in psychopathology; the philosophical phenomenology of delusions and hallucinations.

    Since 2013 he has been researching aspects of the philosophy and politics of identity and recognition in light of contemporary mental health activism. This research is coming out in his book Madness and the Demand for Recognition (Oxford University Press).

    Drawing on the conclusions of the book, Mohammed's future research project aims to develop an account of the concepts and methods of understanding that could, in principle, produce overlapping narratives between service-users/activists and mental health professionals. This is in recognition of the fact that existing theoretical approaches to mental health phenomena tend to operate with concepts of understanding that cannot produce an account of these phenomena that would satisfy many persons who experience them.



    • Madness and the Demand for Recognition: A Philosophical Inquiry into Identity and Mental Health Activism (Oxford University Press, forthcoming in 2019).

    Journal Articles

    • In Defence of Madness: The Problem of Disability. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 2018.
    • A Critical Perspective on Second-Order Empathy in Understanding Psychopathology: Phenomenology and Ethics. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, 2015.
    • Can Psychiatry Distinguish Social Deviance From Mental Disorder? Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, 2014 (with R. Bingham).
    • Religious Experience and Psychiatry: Analysis of the Conflict and Proposal for a Way Forward. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, 2010

    Book Chapter

    • Islamic Perspectives on Psychiatric Ethics. In: J. Sadler, C. W. van Staden, K. W. M. Fulford (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Psychiatric Ethics. Oxford University Press, 2015.