Natural Kinds, Psychiatric Classification and the History of the DSM

History of Psychiatry 27 (4):406-424 (2016)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
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.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2021-03-08
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
260 ( #25,440 of 64,219 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
90 ( #6,966 of 64,219 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.