Abstract

The recent discussion in scientific psychiatry has paid increasing attention to the role of concepts of the person in psychiatric discourse. What are the uses of concepts of the person, such as self or person, in psychiatric discourse? Does describing these uses clarify the significance of conceptual and empirical elements in conceptions of mental illness? I try to answer these questions in a philosophically informed textual analysis of one representative psychiatric article. I conclude that concepts of the person are used largely interchangeably in their various relevant meanings. The interplay between different uses of the concepts of the person allows us to conceptualize psychopathology and to conceive possibilities of overcoming this vague usage. My results underline the importance of a sensitivity to the ways concepts of the person are used in psychiatry and manifest the embeddedness of the language of psychopathology in everyday "person discourse."

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3303
Print ISSN
1071-6076
Pages
pp. 125-136
Launched on MUSE
2000-06-01
Open Access
No
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