The Concept of Mental Disorder: A Proposal

During the last years, there has been an important discussion on the concept of mental disorder. Several accounts of such a concept have been offered by theorists, although neither of these accounts seems to have successfully answered both the question of what it means for a certain mental condition to be a disorder and the question of what it means for a certain disorder to be mental. In this paper, I propose an account of the concept of mental disorder that, if I am right, provides satisfactory answers to both of these questions. Furthermore, this account (unlike other accounts presented in the literature on the subject) meets the requirements for achieving a crucial goal underlying the project of sorting out the concept of mental disorder, namely the goal of allowing the existence of a dialogue between mental health professionals of different theoretical orientations. To achieve this goal, the account herein proposed is not based in any particular theoretical framework, but in both ordinary and technical theory-neutral concepts. In the last part of the paper, I argue that it follows from most accounts of the concept of mental disorder that the disciplines concerned with explaining some mental disorders are not branches of medicine, and that the treatment of some mental disorders is not a matter of medical intervention.
Keywords mental disorder
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Alfredo Gaete (2009). Mental Disorders as Lacks of Mental Capacities. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 15 (4):345-347.
    Dusan Kecmanovic (2011). Why the Mental Disorder Concept Matters. Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences 4 (1):1-9.
    Bengt Brülde (2007). Mental Disorder and Values. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 14 (2):pp. 93-102.
    Patricia A. Ross (2005). Sorting Out the Concept Disorder. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 26 (2):115-140.

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    41 ( #34,894 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    2 ( #42,743 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.