History of Psychiatry 27 (4):406-424 (2016)

Authors
Jonathan Y. Tsou
Iowa State University
Abstract
This paper addresses philosophical issues concerning whether mental disorders are natural kinds and how the DSM should classify mental disorders. I argue that some mental disorders (e.g., schizophrenia, depression) are natural kinds in the sense that they are natural classes constituted by a set of stable biological mechanisms. I subsequently argue that a theoretical and causal approach to classification would provide a superior method for classifying natural kinds than the purely descriptive approach adopted by the DSM since DSM-III. My argument suggests that the DSM should classify natural kinds in order to provide predictively useful (i.e., projectable) diagnostic categories and that a causal approach to classification would provide a more promising method for formulating valid diagnostic categories.
Keywords Natural Kinds  Mechanistic Property Cluster (MPC) Kinds  Diagnostic Validity  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)  Looping effects  projectability
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References found in this work BETA

Intervention, Causal Reasoning, and the Neurobiology of Mental Disorders: Pharmacological Drugs as Experimental Instruments.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (2):542-551.
Depression and Suicide Are Natural Kinds: Implications for Physician-Assisted Suicide.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2013 - International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 36 (5-6):461-470.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Kindness of Psychopaths.Zdenka Brzović, Marko Jurjako & Predrag Šustar - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (2):189-211.
An Ideal Disorder? Autism as a Psychiatric Kind.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (2):175-190.

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The Reality and Classification of Mental Disorders.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2008 - Dissertation, University of Chicago
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