A Note on the Dynamics of Psychiatric Classification

Minerva - An Internet Journal of Philosophy 18 (1):27-47 (2014)
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The question of how psychiatric classifications are made up and to what they refer has attracted the attention of philosophers in recent years. In this paper, I review the claims of authors who discuss psychiatric classification in terms referring both to the philosophical tradition of natural kinds and to the sociological tradition of social constructionism — especially those of Ian Hacking and his critics. I examine both the ontological and the social aspects of what it means for something to be a mental disorder, and how the ontological status of these disorders hinges on social causation. Finally, I conclude by suggesting a way in which the biological and the social may be reconciled in an integrative model of variation in psychiatric disorder.



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José Eduardo Porcher
Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro

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References found in this work

The meaning of 'meaning'.Hilary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
The social construction of what?Ian Hacking - 1999 - Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.

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