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Psychiatric classification and subjective experience

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Emotion Review
Number of pages6
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article does not directly consider the feelings and emotions that occur in mental illness. Rather, it concerns a higher level methodological question: To what extent is an analysis of feelings and felt emotions of importance for psychiatric classification? Some claim that producing a phenomenologically informed descriptive psychopathology is a prerequisite for serious taxonomic endeavor. Others think that classifications of mental disorders may ignore subjective experience. A middle view holds that classification should at least map the contours of the phenomenology of mental illness. This article examines these options. I conclude that it is not true that phenomenology is a logical prerequisite for classification, nor even that classification should necessarily respect phenomenological boundaries, but that detailed phenomenological examination can sometimes inform classification.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Emotion Review, 4 (2), 2012, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2012 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Emotion Review page: http://emr.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online: http://online.sagepub.com/