Logical empiricism and psychiatric classification

Comprehensive Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.25). 01/1986; 27:101-14.
Source: PubMed


Nosology has become a widely discussed topic in psychiatry with the appearance of DSM-III. Most current treatments of diagnostic categorization, however, presuppose a particular philosophy of science: logical empiricism. Ideas of Carl G. Hempel, a leading proponent of logical empiricism. can be shown to illuminate the contemporary classification of mental disorders. Moreover, the importance attached by many prominent psychiatrists to operational definitions in nosology can be seen to grow from logical empiricist roots. Even the etiology of mental disorders can be placed within a logical empiricist framework. We describe this logical empiricist position in order to prepare for alternative approaches to classification.

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    • "Les auteurs ne connaissent pas les patients ; une procédure explicite doit garantir que le projet puisse se dérouler, dans des conditions relativement similaires, dans sept établissements différents ; le jugement final n'est prononcé ni par les cliniciens ni par les patients, mais par l'opération d'un calcul statistique. Les années qui suivent seront marquées par l'intégration de nombreuses méthodes d'évaluation psychométriques, puis de procédures diagnostiques qui se standardiseront elles aussi, fondées sur l'approche opérationnelle développée par le groupe de l'Université de Washington à Saint-Louis et reprise par le DSM-III (Schwartz et Wiggins, 1986). Il faut toutefois relever que la plupart des essais randomisés contrôlés sont nettement plus simples que l'étude de Prien et Cole. "
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