Interrogating Incoherence and Prospects for a Trans-Positive Psychiatry

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Invited commentary on Nicole A. Vincent and Emma A. Jane, “Interrogating Incongruence: Conceptual and Normative Problems with ICD-11’s and DSM-5’s Diagnostic Categories for Transgender People” Australasian Philosophical Review, in press. The core of Vincent and Jane’s Interrogating Incongruence is critical of the appeal to the concept of incongruence in DSM-5 and ICD-11 characterisations of trans people, a critique taken to be ground-clearing for more trans-positive, psychiatrically-infused medical interventions. I concur with Vincent and Jane’s ultimate goals but depart from the view developed in the paper on two fronts. The first is that I remain sceptical about the overall prospects for truly trans-positive psychiatry. Trans should follow homosexuality and other categories of sexual orientation that have been abandoned rather than reformed as constituents of psychiatric diagnosis and categorisation. The second is that I think that the authors’ central criticisms of the appeal to incongruence are misplaced.
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First archival date: 2021-05-16
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