What is wrong with the DSM?

History of Psychiatry 15 (1):5-25 (2004)
Abstract
The DSM is the main classification of mental disorders used by psychiatrists in the United States and, increasingly, around the world. Although widely used, the DSM has come in for fierce criticism, with many commentators believing it to be conceptually flawed in a variety of ways. This paper assesses some of these philosophical worries. The first half of the paper asks whether the project of constructing a classification of mental disorders that ‘cuts nature at the joints’ makes sense. What is mental disorder? Are types of mental disorder natural kinds (that is, are the distinctions between them objective and of fundamental theoretical importance, as are, say, the distinctions between the chemical elements)? The second half of the paper addresses epistemic worries. Even if types of mental disorder are natural kinds there may be reason to doubt that the DSM will come to reflect their natural structure. In particular, I examine the extent to which the DSM is theory-laden, and look at how it has been shaped by social and financial factors. Ultimately, I conclude that although the DSM is of immense practical importance it is not likely to become the best possible classification of mental disorders.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
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
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 25,711
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Evidence‐Based Psychiatry: Understanding the Limitations of a Method.Thomas Maier - 2006 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 12 (3):325-329.
Scientific Progress and the Prospects for Culture-Bound Syndromes.Charlotte Blease - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 41 (4):333-339.
Multiple Depression.Ilpo Helén - 2007 - Journal of Medical Humanities 28 (3):149-172.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-01-28

Total downloads

109 ( #42,963 of 2,146,264 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #162,891 of 2,146,264 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums