The concept of mental illness: An analysis of four pivotal issues

Journal of Mind and Behavior 22 (2):161-178 (2001)
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Abstract

The concept of mental illness is explored through an examination of four key foundational issues. These are the notion of the “mental” as it relates to psychopathology; the concept of illness; the relationship of mental illness to concepts of function and malfunction; and sociocultural dimensions of psychopathology. The problematic status of the concept of mental illness is investigated through locating it within the various discourses of biomedicine, psychology, law, and sociology and by explicating and relating the philosophical underpinnings of those discourses

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Robert Woolfolk
Rutgers University, New Brunswick

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