Natural Kinds, Psychiatric Classification and the History of the DSM

History of Psychiatry 27 (4):406-424 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

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.

Author's Profile

Jonathan Y. Tsou
University of Texas at Dallas

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-11-30

Downloads
489 (#16,891)

6 months
89 (#7,839)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?