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By Dan J. Stein

Offers a framework for addressing very important philosophical concerns in psychiatry and psychopharmacology.

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1991). Despite important differences between psychological schools that take a critical position, they emphasise that psychological phenomena cannot be specified in terms of rules and algorithms, but rather involve multilayered narratives and discursive practices (Bennett & Hacker, 2003; Harr´e & Gillett, 1994). 5 They argue that categorizing any particular phenomenon as a disorder reflects cultural and historical theories and values, rather than any underlying universal truth about the relevant phenomenon.

The question has been raised of what is mental about mental disorder (Br¨ulde & Radovic, 2006)? The analysis here suggests that an answer lies in good part in understanding the graded structure of the category “disorder”. We address ontological and epistemological aspects of the mind-body problem, which are also relevant to understanding this issue, in subsequent chapters. ), and choose appropriate maps based on the scientific data and other considerations. , 2006; Sadler, 2005; Schaffner, 1999).

Some psychoanalysts have emphasized the importance of describing unconscious rules that produce human thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Symbolic cognitivists have argued that the mind can be understood as a system of internal representations (Fodor, 1987). Despite the important differences between these psychological schools, their proponents emphasize the rules and algorithms which govern behaviours and representations. One of the earliest attempts to define the category of medical disorder from a classical approach was that of Boorse (1975, 1976a, 1997), who argued that medical disorders can be defined in terms of malfunction.

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