The philosophy of psychiatry: Who needs it?

Edwin Wallace IV, Jennifer Radden, John Z. Sadler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Many a psychiatrist has said that he did not want to burden himself with a philosophy and that this science had nothing to do with philosophy. But the exclusion of philosophy would nevertheless be disastrous for psychiatry: firstly, if we are not clearly conscious of our philosophy we shall mix it up with our scientific thinking quite unawares and bring about a scientific and philosophic confusion. Secondly, since in psychopathology in particular the scientific knowledge is not all of one kind, we have to distinguish the different modes of knowing and clarify our methods, the meaning and validity of our statements and the criteria of tests - and all this calls for philosophic logic... To sum up: If anyone thinks he can exclude philosophy and leave it aside as useless, he will be eventually defeated by it in some obscure form or another.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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