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Psychiatric kinds and the DSM: Notes from a conceptual building site

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Publication date6/10/2023
Host publicationNew Perspectives on Conceptual Engineering : Foundational Issues
EditorsManuel Gustavo Isaac, Kevin Scharp
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a classification of mental disorders. It is published by the American Psychiatric Association and revised by committee every fifteen years or so. This chapter considers the DSM as a ‘conceptual building site’. I suggest that in the same way that structural engineers visit building sites to develop their understanding of the possibilities and limitations of designs and materials, conceptual engineers too can benefit from looking at the sites in which concepts are created and refined. Looking at real-life processes of concept revision can enrich our understanding of what the conceptual engineer can achieve and where conceptual engineering might be difficult.