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Psychiatry in the Scientific Image

ISBN-10: 0262134551

ISBN-13: 9780262134552

Edition: 2005

Authors: Dominic Murphy

List price: $38.00
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In Psychiatry in the Scientific Image, Dominic Murphy looks at psychiatry from the viewpoint of analytic philosophy of science, considering three issues: how we should conceive of, classify, and explain mental illness. If someone is said to have a mental illness, what about it is mental? What makes it an illness? How might we explain and classify it? A system of psychiatric classification settles these questions by distinguishing the mental illnesses and showing how they stand in relation to one another. This book explores the philosophical issues raised by the project of explaining and classifying mental illness. If we are to classify mental illness properly, we must look for causal explanations of what is being classified. Murphy proposes building a methodological framework for explaining mental disorders that lets psychiatry take advantage of, and contribute to, developments in the cognitive sciences. Murphy argues that the current literature on mental illness -- exemplified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -- is an impediment to research; it lacks a coherent concept of the mental and a satisfactory account of disorder, and yields too much authority to commonsense thought about the mind. He argues that the explanation of mental illness should meet the standards of good explanatory practice in the cognitive neurosciences, and that the classification of mental disorders should group symptoms into conditions based on the causal structure of the normal mind. If psychiatry is the study of failures of normal human nature, Murphy writes, then it will be on sounder footing if it aims for consilience with the sciences of the normal mind/brain.
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Book details

List price: $38.00
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 6/23/2006
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 424
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.540
Language: English

Dominic Murphy is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at California Institute of Technology.

The Concept of Mental Disorder
Psychiatry and Folk Psychology
The Medical Model and the Foundations of Psychiatric Explanation
The Limits of Mechanistic Explanation in Psychiatry
A More or Less Realist Theory of Validation as Causal Explanation
Social Construction and Sociological Causation
Evolutionary Explanations of Psychopathology
Classification in Psychiatry