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In Kenneth S. Kendler & Joseph Parnas (eds.), Philosophical Issues in Psychiatry IV: Psychiatric Nosology. Oxford, UK: pp. 274-281 (2017)

Georg Repnikov
University of Sydney
Do our diagnostic terms refer? If they do not, what implications does this have for our understanding of the practice of validation in psychiatry? These are the questions raised and addressed in the main part of John Campbell’s contribution to this volume, and the ones we will focus on in our reply. While we are sympathetic to Campbell’s contentions that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) style of validation needs reassessment, and that causality should play a more prominent role in nosological revisions, we think his picture of reference and validation is misconceived. In this short comment, we first address Campbell’s question about the reference of our diagnostic terms, before briefly sketching an alternative view of validation.
Keywords Psychiatric Disorder  Validity  Reference  Existence
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