Mental Disorder as a Practical Psychiatric Kind

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Title: Mental Disorder as a Practical Psychiatric Kind
Authors: O'Connor, Brian
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Date: Dec-2017
Abstract: This paper proposes that mental disorders are best conceived as practical psychiatric kinds. This means understanding them as the products of psychiatric practice. The practical psychiatric kinds approach emphasizes the fundamentally normative rather than natural structure of mental disorders. The paper critically considers an earlier biologically oriented effort to eliminate categories of mental disorder. It also assesses efforts both to take a 'balanced view' of mental disorders as equally causal and social kinds and to retain categories of mental disorder by finding the right supporting natural kinds based theory. These assessments lead to the contention that psychiatric kinds are practical, geared toward successful living and oriented towards individuated needs. The practical psychiatric kinds thesis provides an alternative way of entering into a social critical evaluation of the normative dimension of mental disorders today.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: John Hopkins University Press
Journal: Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology
Volume: 24
Issue: 4
Start page: E-1
End page: E-13
Copyright (published version): 2017 John Hopkins University Press
Keywords: ClassificationDistressNormativityPsychiatric kindsSocial impairmentPractical kinds
DOI: 10.1353/ppp.2017.0060
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Philosophy Research Collection

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