Dominic Murphy

Dominic Murphy is Senior Lecturer in the Unit for History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney.

  • Defining Mental Disorder

    Jerome Wakefield and His Critics

    Luc Faucher, Denis Forest, Harold Kincaid, Peter Zachar, Dominic Murphy, Justin Garson, Philip Gerrans, Rachel Cooper, Steeves Demazeux, Leen De Vreese, Maël Lemoine, Tim Thornton, Andreas De Block, and Jonathan Sholl

    Philosophers discuss Jerome Wakefield's influential view of mental disorder as “harmful dysfunction,” with detailed responses from Wakefield himself.

    One of the most pressing theoretical problems of psychiatry is the definition of mental disorder. Jerome Wakefield's proposal that mental disorder is “harmful dysfunction” has been both influential and widely debated; philosophers have been notably skeptical about it. This volume provides the first book-length collection of responses by philosophers to Wakefield's harmful dysfunction analysis (HDA), offering a survey of philosophical critiques as well as extensive and detailed replies by Wakefield himself.

    HDA is offered as a definition of mental disorder, but it is also the outcome of a method—conceptual analysis—and contributors first take up HDA's methodology, considering such topics as HDA's influences on the DSM, empirical support for HDA, and clinical practice. They go on to discuss HDA's ultimate goal, the demarcation between normal and abnormal; the dysfunction component of the analysis, addressing issues that include developmental plasticity, autism and neurodiversity, and the science of salience; and the harmful component, examining harmless dysfunction, normal variation, medicalization, and other questions. Wakefield offers substantive responses to each chapter.

    Contributors

    Rachel Cooper, Andreas De Block, Steeves Demazeux, Leen De Vreese, Luc Faucher, Denis Forest, Justin Garson, Philip Gerrans, Harold Kincaid, Maël Lemoine, Dominic Murphy, Jonathan Sholll, Tim Thornton, Jerome Wakefield, Peter Zachar

    • Hardcover $110.00 £90.00
  • Psychiatry in the Scientific Image

    Psychiatry in the Scientific Image

    Dominic Murphy

    An analysis of the understanding, classification, and explanation of mental disorders that proposes that psychiatry adopt the best practices of the cognitive sciences.

    In Psychiatry in the Scientific Image, Dominic Murphy looks at psychiatry from the viewpoint of analytic philosophy of science, considering three issues: how we should conceive of, classify, and explain mental illness. If someone is said to have a mental illness, what about it is mental? What makes it an illness? How might we explain and classify it? A system of psychiatric classification settles these questions by distinguishing the mental illnesses and showing how they stand in relation to one another. This book explores the philosophical issues raised by the project of explaining and classifying mental illness.

    Murphy argues that the current literature on mental illness—exemplified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—is an impediment to research; it lacks a coherent concept of the mental and a satisfactory account of disorder, and yields too much authority to commonsense thought about the mind. He argues that the explanation of mental illness should meet the standards of good explanatory practice in the cognitive neurosciences, and that the classification of mental disorders should group symptoms into conditions based on the causal structure of the normal mind.

    • Hardcover $38.00 £32.00
    • Paperback $30.00 £25.00

Contributor

  • Classifying Psychopathology

    Classifying Psychopathology

    Mental Kinds and Natural Kinds

    Harold Kincaid and Jacqueline A. Sullivan

    Scholars question the extent to which current psychiatric classification systems are inadequate for diagnosis, treatment, and research of mental disorders and offer suggestions for improvement.

    In this volume, leading philosophers of psychiatry examine psychiatric classification systems, including the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), asking whether current systems are sufficient for effective diagnosis, treatment, and research. Doing so, they take up the question of whether mental disorders are natural kinds, grounded in something in the outside world. Psychiatric categories based on natural kinds should group phenomena in such a way that they are subject to the same type of causal explanations and respond similarly to the same type of causal interventions. When these categories do not evince such groupings, there is reason to revise existing classifications.

    The contributors all question current psychiatric classifications systems and the assumptions on which they are based. They differ, however, as to why and to what extent the categories are inadequate and how to address the problem. Topics discussed include taxometric methods for identifying natural kinds, the error and bias inherent in DSM categories, and the complexities involved in classifying such specific mental disorders as “oppositional defiance disorder” and pathological gambling.

    Contributors George Graham, Nick Haslam, Allan Horwitz, Harold Kincaid, Dominic Murphy, Jeffrey Poland, Nancy Nyquist Potter, Don Ross, Dan Stein, Jacqueline Sullivan, Serife Tekin, Peter Zachar

    • Hardcover $45.00 £7.99