Metaphysics of Psychopathology
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In psychiatry, few question the legitimacy of asking whether a given psychiatricdisorder is real; similarly, in psychology, scholars debate the reality of such theoretical entitiesas general intelligence, superegos, and personality traits. And yet in both disciplines, littlethought is given to what is meant by the rather abstract philosophical concept of "real."Indeed, certain psychiatric disorders have passed from real to imaginary (as in the case of multiplepersonality disorder) and from imaginary to real (as in the case of post-traumatic stress disorder).In this book, Peter Zachar considers such terms as "real" and "reality" --invoked in psychiatry but often obscure and remote from their instances -- as abstract philosophicalconcepts. He then examines the implications of his approach for psychiatric classification andpsychopathology. Proposing what he calls a scientifically inspired pragmatism, Zachar considers suchtopics as the essentialist bias, diagnostic literalism, and the concepts of natural kind and socialconstruct. Turning explicitly to psychiatric topics, he proposes a new model for the domain ofpsychiatric disorders, the imperfect community model, which avoids bothrelativism and essentialism. He uses this model to understand such recent controversies as theattempt to eliminate narcissistic personality disorder from the DSM-5. Returning to such concepts asreal, true, and objective, Zachar argues that not only should we use these metaphysical concepts tothink philosophically about other concepts, we should think philosophically about them.
List price: $40.00
Copyright year: 2014
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 3/28/2014
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall