Phenomenological Psychopathology and Psychiatric Classification

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This chapter provides an overview of phenomenological approaches to psychiatric classification. The aim is to encourage and facilitate philosophical debate over the best ways to classify psychiatric disorders. First, the chapter articulates phenomenological critiques of the dominant approach to classification and diagnosis—that is, the operational approach employed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). Second, it describes the type or typification approach to psychiatric classification, which is distinguished into three different versions: ideal types, essential types, and prototypes. It is argued that despite their occasional conflation in the contemporary literature, there are important differences among these approaches. Third, the chapter outlines a new phenomenological-dimensional approach. It shows how this approach, which starts from basic dimensions of human existence, allows us to investigate the full range of psychopathological conditions without accepting the validity of current diagnostic categories.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Phenomenological Psychopathology
EditorsGiovanni Stanghellini, Matthew Broome, Andrea Raballo, Anthony Vincent Fernandez, Paolo Fusar-Poli, René Rosfort
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)978–0–19–880315–7
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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