2016
DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsc.2015.10.001
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To what do psychiatric diagnoses refer? A two-dimensional semantic analysis of diagnostic terms

Abstract: In somatic medicine, diagnostic terms often refer to the disease processes that are the causes of patients' symptoms. The language used in some clinical textbooks and health information resources suggests that this is also sometimes assumed to be the case with diagnoses in psychiatry. However, this seems to be in tension with the ways in which psychiatric diagnoses are defined in diagnostic manuals, according to which they refer solely to clusters of symptoms. This paper explores how theories of reference in t… Show more

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Cited by 6 publications
(3 citation statements)
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“…Two‐dimensional semantics provides a way to understand this distinction. This is a modal framework that has been endorsed by a number of philosophers for various purposes, including characterising what is communicated when interlocutors have different communicative intentions (Stalnaker 1978), analysing indexicals (Kaplan 1979), distinguishing between two kinds of necessity (Davies and Humberstone 1980), capturing the a priori aspect of meaning (Jackson 1998), and understanding descriptive and causal conceptions of certain theoretical terms (Maung 2016). The most extensive and most generalised formulation of two‐dimensional semantics, however, is provided by Chalmers (1996; 2004; 2010), and so it is this formulation on which I draw.…”
Section: Epistemic Possibility and Two‐dimensional Semanticsmentioning
confidence: 99%
See 1 more Smart Citation
“…Two‐dimensional semantics provides a way to understand this distinction. This is a modal framework that has been endorsed by a number of philosophers for various purposes, including characterising what is communicated when interlocutors have different communicative intentions (Stalnaker 1978), analysing indexicals (Kaplan 1979), distinguishing between two kinds of necessity (Davies and Humberstone 1980), capturing the a priori aspect of meaning (Jackson 1998), and understanding descriptive and causal conceptions of certain theoretical terms (Maung 2016). The most extensive and most generalised formulation of two‐dimensional semantics, however, is provided by Chalmers (1996; 2004; 2010), and so it is this formulation on which I draw.…”
Section: Epistemic Possibility and Two‐dimensional Semanticsmentioning
confidence: 99%
“…It is worthwhile noting that the appeal to epistemic possibility is not confined to science fiction theorising of the sort exemplified by the Twin Earth thought experiment but is commonplace in genuine scientific reasoning. For example, consider this two‐dimensional semantic analysis of the discovery that poliomyelitis has a viral aetiology (Maung 2016). Under Kripke’s modal framework, it is a necessary a posteriori fact that poliomyelitis has a viral aetiology, and so it is metaphysically impossible for a disease that clinically resembles poliomyelitis but does not have a viral aetiology to be poliomyelitis.…”
Section: Epistemic Possibility and Two‐dimensional Semanticsmentioning
confidence: 99%
“…In subsection 3.4, I look at how these problems have featured in more recent normative critiques of psychiatry by mental health practitioners and philosophers of psychiatry. I do not, in this chapter, provide solutions to these problems, as my intention here is merely to explicate them, but I have offered philosophical solutions to the ontological and conceptual problems elsewhere (Maung 2016a(Maung , 2016b).…”
Section: The Trouble With Psychiatrymentioning
confidence: 99%