David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Neuroethics 3 (2):173-184 (2010)
Medical professionals, including mental health professionals, largely agree that moral judgment should be kept out of clinical settings. The rationale is simple: moral judgment has the capacity to impair clinical judgment in ways that could harm the patient. However, when the patient is suffering from a "Cluster B" personality disorder, keeping moral judgment out of the clinic might appear impossible, not only in practice but also in theory. For the diagnostic criteria associated with these particular disorders (Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic, Narcissistic) are expressed in overtly moral language. I consider three proposals for dealing with this problem. The first is to eliminate the Cluster B disorders from the DSM on the grounds that they are moral, rather than mental, disorders. The second is to replace the morally laden language of the diagnostic criteria with morally neutral language. The third is to disambiguate the notion of moral judgment so as to respect the distinction between having morally disvalued traits and having moral responsibility for those traits. Sensitivity to this distinction enables the clinician, at least in theory, to employ morally laden diagnostic criteria without adopting the sort of morally judgmental (and potentially harmful) attitude that results from the tacit presumption of moral responsibility. I argue against the first two proposals and in favor of the third. In doing so, I appeal to Grice's distinction between conventional and conversational implicature. I close with a few brief remarks on the irony of retaining overtly moral language in an ostensibly medical manual for the diagnosis of mental disorders.
|Keywords||Moral language Moral judgment Moral responsibility Psychiatric diagnosis Personality disorders|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Thomas S. Szasz (2004). The Myth of Mental Illness. In Arthur Caplan, James J. McCartney & Dominic A. Sisti (eds.), Ethics. Georgetown University Press 43--50.
Marga Reimer (2013). Moral Disorder In the DSM-IV?: The Cluster B Personality Disorders. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 20 (3):203-215.
Hanna Pickard & Steve Pearce (2009). The Moral Content of Psychiatric Treatment. British Journal of Psychiatry.
Louis C. Charland (2004). Personality Disorders. In Jennifer Radden (ed.), The Philosophy of Psychiatry: A Companion. Oxford University Press 64.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
W. A. Kinghorn (2011). Whose Disorder?: A Constructive MacIntyrean Critique of Psychiatric Nosology. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (2):187-205.
Robert Kinscherff (2010). Proposition: A Personality Disorder May Nullify Responsibility for a Criminal Act. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 38 (4):745-759.
Serife Tekin (2014). Self-Insight in the Time of Mood Disorders: After the Diagnosis, Beyond the Treatment. Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology 21 (2):139-155.
John S. Callender (2010). Free Will and Responsibility. A Guide for Practitioners. Oxford University Press.
Mike W. Martin (2010). Personality Disorders and Moral Responsibility. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 17 (2):127-129.
Jerome C. Wakefield (2010). False Positives in Psychiatric Diagnosis: Implications for Human Freedom. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (1):5-17.
Louis C. Charland (2010). Medical or Moral Kinds? Moving Beyond a False Dichotomy. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 17 (2):119-125.
John Z. Sadler (2005). Values and Psychiatric Diagnosis. Oxford University Press.
Steve Pearce (2011). Answering the Neo-Szaszian Critique: Are Cluster B Personality Disorders Really So Different? Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 18 (3):203-208.
Added to index2010-05-07
Total downloads50 ( #83,953 of 1,796,218 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #468,795 of 1,796,218 )
How can I increase my downloads?