Epistemological reflections about the crisis of the DSM-5 and the revolutionary potential of the RDoC project

Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences 7 (1):11-20 (2014)
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Abstract

This paper tests the predictions of an epistemological model that considered the DSM psychiatric classification (in the neopositivist and neo-Kraepelinian shape introduced by the DSM-III) as a scientific paradigm in crisis. As predicted, the DSM-5 did not include revolutionary proposals in its basic structure. In particular, the possibility of a dimensional revolution has not occurred and early proposals of etiopathogenic diagnoses were not implemented due to lack of specific knowledge in that field. However, conceiving the DSM-5 as a bridge between the present phenomenally based operational diagnostic criteria and the neuro-cognitively based RDoC criteria introduces an internal tension into the system. It is expected that a liberalization of the research criteria will occur, the DSM operational criteria being only one possible way to select research subjects.

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Massimiliano Aragona
Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza

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