Intervention, Causal Reasoning, and the Neurobiology of Mental Disorders: Pharmacological Drugs as Experimental Instruments

Abstract
In psychiatry, pharmacological drugs play an important experimental role in attempts to identify the neurobiological causes of mental disorders. Besides being developed in applied contexts as potential treatments for patients with mental disorders, pharmacological drugs play a crucial role in research contexts as experimental instruments that facilitate the formulation and revision of neurobiological theories of psychopathology. This paper examines the various epistemic functions that pharmacological drugs serve in the discovery, refinement, testing, and elaboration of neurobiological theories of mental disorders. I articulate this thesis with reference to the history of antipsychotic drugs and the evolution of the dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia in the second half of the twentieth century. I argue that interventions with psychiatric patients through the medium of antipsychotic drugs provide researchers with information and evidence about the neurobiological causes of schizophrenia. This analysis highlights the importance of pharmacological drugs as research tools in the generation of psychiatric knowledge and the dynamic relationship between practical and theoretical contexts in psychiatry.
Keywords psychiatry  pharmacology  neurobiology  dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia  intevention  causal reasoning
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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 Jonathan Y. Tsou, Intervention, Causal Reasoning, and the Neurobiology of Mental Disorders: Pharmacological Drugs as Experimental Instruments
External links
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
Martin Carrier (2004). Knowledge and Control. In Peter K. Machamer & Gereon Wolters (eds.), Science, Values, and Objectivity. University of Pittsburgh Press. 275.
Carl F. Craver & Lindley Darden (2001). Discovering Mechanisms in Neurobiology: The Case of Spatial Memory. In P.K. Machamer, Rick Grush & Peter McLaughlin (eds.), Theory and Method in Neuroscience. Pittsburgh: University of Pitt Press. 112--137.
Sylvia Culp (1994). Defending Robustness: The Bacterial Mesosome as a Test Case. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:46 - 57.

View all 25 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Dominic Murphy (2010). Explanation in Psychiatry. Philosophy Compass 5 (7):602-610.
Mona Gupta (2007). Does Evidence-Based Medicine Apply to Psychiatry? Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (2):103.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-01-10

Total downloads

249 ( #1,946 of 1,102,133 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

40 ( #3,613 of 1,102,133 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


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