Are Mental Disorders Natural Kinds? A Plea for a New Approach to Intervention in Psychiatry
Philosophy & Religious Studies
Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology
Both proponents and opponents of the claim that mental disorders are natural kinds compare mental disorders to paradigmatic examples of natural kinds, to inquire into a set of properties that achieve three scientific tasks: explanation, prediction, and intervention. I argue that the comparative strategy fails to take us to any intervention-related properties of mental disorders. I replace it with what I call a trilateral strategy—a strategy guided by first-person accounts of individuals with mental disorders, and the relevant clinical and scientific work on psychopathology. I illustrate how the trilateral strategy works with a focus on schizophrenia—an example used by both sides of the debate.
Tekin, Ş. (2016). Are Mental Disorders Natural Kinds? A Plea for a New Approach to Intervention in Psychiatry. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, 23(2), 147-163. https://doi.org/10.1353/ppp.2016.0013