The logical basis of psychiatric meta-narratives

Rom Harré

in Reconceiving Schizophrenia

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780198526131
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754340 | DOI:

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry

The logical basis of psychiatric meta-narratives

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The analysis of the meta-discourses of those who find themselves involved with people whose conduct breaches the local conventions of acceptability reveals a complex interplay between the social construction of a ‘condition’ and the creation of an explanatory model depending on the Hybrid Psychology Principle. Pharmacological or even surgical intervention to remedy oddness of conduct is made conceptually coherent to the extent that such a model can meet the criteria of empirical adequacy and ontological plausibility that the use of such models demands. Where the criteria are not met we have situations like the expansion of the populations ‘with’ ADHD and Tourette's Syndrome. The closest attention must be paid to the ‘grammars’ according to which the discourses directed to odd and unacceptable conduct.

At the same time, the conceptual error that led Laing to treat his analytical model as explanatory, needs to be remembered. Caution in slipping from a socially constructed condition to a medical syndrome should not inhibit the disciplined use of the Hybrid Psychology Principle to look for a defect in the cognitive tool-kit.

Since file-selves are fateful in the bureaucratized medical services of the modern state, it behoves the student of the practices of psychiatry to pay close attention to how file-selves are constructed. How important is the seeping away of information as the file-selves proliferate? At what point do the M- and O-grammars begin to dominate the order imposing principles that the content of file-selves intelligible and to whom?

Chapter.  4847 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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