Malfunction and Mental Illness

The Monist 82 (4):658-670 (1999)
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For years a debate has raged within the various literatures of philosophy, psychiatry, and psychology over whether, and to what degree, the concepts that characterize psychopathology are social constructions that reflect cultural values. While the majority position among philosophers has been normativist, i.e., that the conception of a mental disorder is value-laden, a vocal and cogent minority have argued that psychopathology results from malfunctions that can be described by terminology that is objective and scientific. Scientists and clinicians have tended to endorse the objectivist position, with some notable exceptions.



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Author Profiles

Valerie G. Hardcastle
University of Cincinnati
Robert Woolfolk
Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Joëlle Proust
Institut Jean Nicod
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