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Stabilizing Mental Disorders: Prospects and Problems

In Harold Kincaid & Jacqueline Sullivan (eds.), Classifying Psychopathology: Mental Kinds and Natural Kinds. MIT Press. pp. 257-281 (2014)

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  1. Stabilizing Constructs Through Collaboration Across Different Research Fields as a Way to Foster the Integrative Approach of the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) Project.Jacqueline A. Sullivan - 2016 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (00):00.
    In this article, I explain why stabilizing constructs is important to the success of the Research Domain Criteria Project and identify one measure for facilitating such stability.
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  • Construct Stabilization and the Unity of the Mind-Brain Sciences.Jacqueline Anne Sullivan - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):662-673.
    This paper offers a critique of an account of explanatory integration that claims that explanations of cognitive capacities by functional analyses and mechanistic explanations can be seamlessly integrated. It is shown that achieving such explanatory integration requires that the terms designating cognitive capacities in the two forms of explanation are stable but that experimental practice in the mind-brain sciences currently is not directed at achieving such stability. A positive proposal for changing experimental practice so as to promote such stability is (...)
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  • The Need for New Ontologies in Psychiatry.Robyn Bluhm - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (2):146-159.
    Although researchers in psychiatry have been trying for decades to elucidate the pathophysiology underlying mental disorders, relatively little progress has been made. One explanation for this failure is that diagnostic categories in psychiatry are unlikely to track underlying neurological mechanisms. Because of this, the US National Institutes of Mental Health has recently developed a novel ontology to guide research in biological psychiatry: the Research Domain Criteria. In this paper, I argue that while RDoC may lead to better neuroscientific explanations for (...)
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  • An Ideal Disorder? Autism as a Psychiatric Kind.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (2):175-190.
    In recent decades, attempts to explain autism have been frustrated by the heterogeneous nature of its behavioral symptoms and the underlying genetic, neural, and cognitive mechanisms that produce them. This has led some to propose eliminating the category altogether. The eliminativist inference relies on a conception of psychiatric categories as kinds defined by their underlying mechanistic structure. I review the evidence for eliminativism and propose an alternative model of the family of autisms. On this account, autism is a network category (...)
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  • Is the Next Frontier in Neuroscience a Decade of the Mind?Jacqueline Anne Sullivan - 2014 - In Charles Wolfe (ed.), Brain Theory: Essays in Critical Neurophilosophy. Palgrave MacMillan.
    In 2007, ten world-renowned neuroscientists proposed “A Decade of the Mind Initiative.” The contention was that, despite the successes of the Decade of the Brain, “a fundamental understanding of how the brain gives rise to the mind [was] still lacking” (2007, 1321). The primary aims of the decade of the mind were “to build on the progress of the recent Decade of the Brain (1990-99)” by focusing on “four broad but intertwined areas” of research, including: healing and protecting, understanding, enriching, (...)
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  • Empirical Evidence and the Multiple Realization of Mental Kinds.Danny Booth - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Western Ontario
    This thesis explores the use of the concept 'realization' in the philosophy of mind. The primary focus is on the role realization plays in assessing or opposing identity theory. The history of the use of the concept of realization in the philosophy of mind is reviewed, and from that a set of desiderata to be used for assessing accounts of realization is extracted. The desiderata are applied to a sample account of realization proposed by Sydney Shoemaker. Next the application of (...)
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  • Coordinated Pluralism as a Means to Facilitate Integrative Taxonomies of Cognition.Jacqueline Anne Sullivan - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (2):129-145.
    The past decade has witnessed a growing awareness of conceptual and methodological hurdles within psychology and neuroscience that must be addressed for taxonomic and explanatory progress in understanding psychological functions to be possible. In this paper, I evaluate several recent knowledge-building initiatives aimed at overcoming these obstacles. I argue that while each initiative offers important insights about how to facilitate taxonomic and explanatory progress in psychology and neuroscience, only a “coordinated pluralism” that incorporates positive aspects of each initiative will have (...)
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  • Natural Kinds of Mental Disorder.Sander Werkhoven - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):10135-10165.
    Are mental disorders natural kinds or socially constructed categories? What is at stake if either of these views prove to be true? This paper offers a qualified defence for the view that there may be natural kinds of mental disorder, but also that the implications of this claim are generally overestimated. Especially concerns about over-inclusiveness of diagnostic categories and medicalisation of abnormal behaviour are not addressed by the debate. To arrive at these conclusions the paper opens with a discussion of (...)
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  • Philosophy of Psychiatry After Diagnostic Kinds.Kathryn Tabb - 2019 - Synthese 196 (6):2177-2195.
    A significant portion of the scholarship in analytic philosophy of psychiatry has been devoted to the problem of what kind of kind psychiatric disorders are. Efforts have included descriptive projects, which aim to identify what psychiatrists in fact refer to when they diagnose, and prescriptive ones, which argue over that to which diagnostic categories should refer. In other words, philosophers have occupied themselves with what I call “diagnostic kinds”. However, the pride of place traditionally given to diagnostic kinds in psychiatric (...)
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  • Symptom Modelling Can Be Influenced by Psychiatric Categories: Choices for Research Domain Criteria.Sam Fellowes - 2017 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 38 (4):279-294.
    Psychiatric researchers typically assume that the modelling of psychiatric symptoms is not influenced by psychiatric categories; symptoms are modelled and then grouped into a psychiatric category. I highlight this primarily through analysing research domain criteria. RDoC’s importance makes it worth scrutinizing, and this assessment also serves as a case study with relevance for other areas of psychiatry. RDoC takes inadequacies of existing psychiatric categories as holding back causal investigation. Consequently, RDoC aims to circumnavigate existing psychiatric categories by directly investigating the (...)
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  • Classification, Kinds, Taxonomic Stability, and Conceptual Change.Jaipreet Mattu & Jacqueline Anne Sullivan - forthcoming - Aggression and Violent Behavior.
    Scientists represent their world, grouping and organizing phenomena into classes by means of concepts. Philosophers of science have historically been interested in the nature of these concepts, the criteria that inform their application and the nature of the kinds that the concepts individuate. They also have sought to understand whether and how different systems of classification are related and more recently, how investigative practices shape conceptual development and change. Our aim in this paper is to provide a critical overview of (...)
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  • Understanding Obstacles in Psychiatric Research: An Analysis of the Structure of Mood Via Merleau-Ponty.Raymond Cacciatore - 2020 - Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 4 (2):39-51.
    It is no secret that the methodology within psychiatric research has been challenged to the point of a possible paradigm shift. After decades of failed attempts to determine biological markers for the mental illnesses classified by the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, we are witnessing a radical transformation of the way we think about mental illness. While research seems to be on the right track by migrating from a discrete categorical approach to a dimensional matrix of the neurobiological conditions responsible for cognition, (...)
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  • From Affective Science to Psychiatric Disorder: Ontology as Semantic Bridge.Rasmus Rosenberg Larsen & Janna Hastings - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychiatry 9 (487):1-13.
    Advances in emotion and affective science have yet to translate routinely into psychiatric research and practice. This is unfortunate since emotion and affect are fundamental components of many psychiatric conditions. Rectifying this lack of interdisciplinary integration could thus be a potential avenue for improving psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. In this contribution, we propose and discuss an ontological framework for explicitly capturing the complex interrelations between affective entities and psychiatric disorders, in order to facilitate mapping and integration between affective science and (...)
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  • Psychiatric Progress and The Assumption of Diagnostic Discrimination.Kathryn Tabb - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82:1047-1058.
    The failure of psychiatry to validate its diagnostic constructs is often attributed to the prioritizing of reliability over validity in the structure and content of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Here I argue that in fact what has retarded biomedical approaches to psychopathology is unwarranted optimism about diagnostic discrimination: the assumption that our diagnostic tests group patients together in ways that allow for relevant facts about mental disorder to be discovered. I consider the Research Domain Criteria framework (...)
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  • Tracking the Objects of the Psychopathology On Interdisciplinarity of Psychopathology on the Margins of Historia Polskiego Szaleństwa.Przemysław Nowakowski - 2020 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 11 (1):1-14.
    This paper is a loose commentary on Marcinów’s book (2017). The commentary is focused on the objects of psychopathological investigations and the role of psychology / psychiatry tension in the process of singling out, tracking, and describing them. As a consequence, there are limitations of collaborative and integrative efforts between psychologists and psychiatrists where questions of psychopathology are concerned.
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