Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bring back the functional-organic dichotomy

I'm prompted to make this post by reading Kennneth Kendler's recent article. Of course I'm not Cartesian, but his fear of dualism leads him to praise DSM-IV's dropping of the functional-organic distinction. Actually there is a difference between biomedical and biopsychological understandings of mental illness, and he shouldn't try and deny it.

He favours what he calls empirically based pluralism as he says Engel's biopsychosocial model provides no focus. This is similar to the spat I had with Nassir Ghaemi about his book (see previous post). I don't think critical psychiatry (or Engel's biopsychosocial model) is anti-empirical. In fact, Engel saw the biopsychosocial model as scientific.

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