Edited by Jennifer Radden

in The Philosophy of Psychiatry

Published in print June 2004 | ISBN: 9780195149531
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199870943 | DOI:

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry


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This chapter argues that diagnosis—the scientific activity of sorting and labeling disorders—is imbued with moral, social, and political meaning. It explores diagnosis as characterization, as disclosure, as relevance, as privilege, as rationality, and as ritual. Diagnosis is considered a way of life and a language game of the greatest cultural significance: it cannot be reduced to the labeling practices that its critics have so vociferously decried.

Keywords: diagnosis; labeling; medicalization; reductionism; psychiatric power; values

Chapter.  7347 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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