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date: 11 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of phenomenological approaches to psychiatric classification. The aim is to encourage and facilitate philosophical debate over the best ways to classify psychiatric disorders. First, the chapter articulates phenomenological critiques of the dominant approach to classification and diagnosis—that is, the operational approach employed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). Second, it describes the type or typification approach to psychiatric classification, which is distinguished into three different versions: ideal types, essential types, and prototypes. It is argued that despite their occasional conflation in the contemporary literature, there are important differences among these approaches. Third, the chapter outlines a new phenomenological-dimensional approach. It shows how this approach, which starts from basic dimensions of human existence, allows us to investigate the full range of psychopathological conditions without accepting the validity of current diagnostic categories.

Keywords: classification, diagnosis, phenomenology, types, typification, dimensions, DSM, ICD

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