To what do psychiatric diagnoses refer?:a two-dimensional semantic analysis of diagnostic terms

Maung, Hane (2016) To what do psychiatric diagnoses refer?:a two-dimensional semantic analysis of diagnostic terms. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 55. pp. 1-10. ISSN 1369-8486

[img]
Preview
PDF (To_what_do_psychiatric_diagnoses_refer_author_accepted_version)
To_what_do_psychiatric_diagnoses_refer_author_accepted_version.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

Download (186kB)

Abstract

In somatic medicine, diagnostic terms often refer to the disease processes that are the causes of patients' symptoms. The language used in some clinical textbooks and health information resources suggests that this is also sometimes assumed to be the case with diagnoses in psychiatry. However, this seems to be in tension with the ways in which psychiatric diagnoses are defined in diagnostic manuals, according to which they refer solely to clusters of symptoms. This paper explores how theories of reference in the philosophy of language can help to resolve this tension. After the evaluation of descriptive and causal theories of reference, I put forward a conceptual framework based on two-dimensional semantics that allows the causal analysis of diagnostic terms in psychiatry, while taking seriously their descriptive definitions in diagnostic manuals. While the framework is presented as a solution to a problem regarding the semantics of psychiatric diagnoses, it can also accommodate the analysis of diagnostic terms in other medical disciplines.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 55, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsc.2015.10.001
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700
Subjects:
ID Code:
78775
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
13 Apr 2016 09:38
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
22 Sep 2020 02:36