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date: 16 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Our focus in this chapter is to address some of the philosophical issues that arise in the scientific and clinical study of the prodromal phase of psychosis. We discuss issues from both metaphysics and philosophy of science as we all as those related to phenomenological approaches and clinical ethics. A clear challenge arises in considering how models of a continuum of psychosis and of schizophrenia as a neurodevelopmental disorder can be reconciled with a scientific understanding of the prodrome as a discrete constellation of signs and symptoms. Clinical and research work on the prodromal stage of psychosis also highlights ethical concerns. Demarcating a mental disorder and applying therapeutic interventions, based solely on risk estimation, should not be carried out lightly.

Keywords: prodrome, prodromal, at risk, ultra high risk, psychosis, schizophrenia, ethics, philosophy, DSM-5, phenomenology

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