Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 11 (1) (1990)
The paper attempts to account for the confusion over the validity of the concept of schizophrenia in terms of two closely related aspects of conceptual indeterminacy. Firstly, it is identified on the basis of a breakdown in intelligibility, but what constitutes such a breakdown is indeterminate. Secondly, the concept sits between the categories of natural disease or illness on the one hand, and character trait or moral failing or gift on the other. This entails an indeterminacy in attempting to define the role that physiological explanation could have. Light may be thrown on the concept by exploring a distinction between a life story in which the schizophrenic condition emerges as the conclusion of the story and a causal process in which the condition is the end result or final consequence.
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