Social ontology focuses on questions about the reality of human categories. The typical examples are gender and race. Common questions about them are: Do they exist? What is their nature? Do they exist in the best possible way? Meanwhile, the philosophy of psychiatry has been discussing the reality of psychopathology, what is the best way to classify mental disorders, and whether it is possible to define them without normative vocabulary. I think there is something not only strange but inadequate about these discussions being held apart. Particularly, I hold that by being held separately these discussions are philosophically incomplete. In this paper, I argue that these debates are parallel in crucial aspects, but more importantly that they can benefit from each other if they start a dialogue. I suggest some paths we can take to start fruitful discussions and offer examples of the kind of outcomes we can expect. However, my main contribution is to sketch a common framework to map current discussions, make comparisons between them, and, more importantly, guide new research.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. American Psychiatric Association.
Appiah, A. (1996). Race, Culture, Identity: Misunderstood Connections. The Tanner Lectures on Human Values 17.
Bird, A., & Tobin, E. (2018). Natural Kinds. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Archive. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2018/entries/natural-kinds/
Boorse, C. (1977). Health as a Theoretical Concept. Philosophy of Science, 44(4), 542–573. http://www.jstor.org/stable/186939
Boyd, R. (1999). Homeostasis, species and higher taxa. In R. A. Wilson (ed.), Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays (pp. 141-85). MIT Press.
Cooper, R. (2005). Classifying Madness: A Philosophical Examination of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Springer.
Engel, G. L. (1977). The need for a new medical model: a challenge for biomedicine. Science (New York, N.Y.), 196(4286), 129–136. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.847460
Epstein, B. (2018). Social Ontology. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Archive. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2018/entries/social-ontology/
Epstein, B. (2019). What are social groups? Their metaphysics and how to classify them. Synthese, 196, 4899–4932. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-017-1387-y
Garson, J. (2021). The Biological Mind. A Philosophical Introduction. Routledge.
Guerrero Mc Manus, S. (2020). Hacia una nueva metafísica del género. Debate Feminista, 60. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.22201/cieg.2594066xe.2020.60.2206
Hacking, I. (1996). The looping effects of human kinds. In D. Sperber, D. Premack, and A. James Premack (eds), Causal Cognition: A Multidisciplinary Debate. Symposia of the Fyssen Foundation https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524021.003.0012
Hacking, I. (1999). The Social Construction of What? Harvard University Press.
Haslam, N., & Ernst, D. (2002). Essentialist Beliefs About Mental Disorders. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 21(6), 628–644. https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.21.6.628.22793
Haslanger, S. (2012). Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique. Oxford University Press. https://acortar.link/99eV6d
Howes, O. D., & Kapur, S. (2009). The dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia: version III The final common pathway. Schizophrenia bulletin, 35(3), 549–562. https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbp006
Hoyt, C. L., Burnette, J. L., & Auster-Gussman, L. (2014). “Obesity is a disease”: examining the self-regulatory impact of this public-health message. Psychological science, 25(4), 997–1002. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797613516981
Khalidi, M. A. (2016). Mind-Dependent Kinds. Journal of Social Ontology, 2(2), 223-246. https://doi.org/10.1515/jso-2015-0045
Kincaid, H., & Sullivan, J. A. (2014). Philosophical psychopathology. Classifying psychopathology: Mental kinds and natural kinds. MIT Press.
Lavretsky, M. D. (1998). The Russian Concept of Schizophrenia: A Review of the Literature, Schizophrenia Bulletin, 24(4), 537–557. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.schbul.a033348
Mallon, R. (2016). The Construction of Human Kinds. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2017.09.005
Murphy, D. (2006). Psychiatry in the scientific image. MIT Press.
Nakaya Pérez, M. I. (2021). Entre lo natural y lo construido: una ontología de la enfermedad mental. UNAM. http://188.8.131.52/ptd2021/febrero/0809228/Index.html
Radden, J. (2019). Mental Disorder (Illness). Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Archive. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2019/entries/mental-disorder/
Szasz, T. S. (1960). The myth of mental illness. American Psychologist, 15(2), 113–118. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0046535
Tsou, J. (2021). Philosophy of Psychiatry. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108588485
Wakefield, J. C. (1992a). Disorder as harmful dysfunction: A conceptual critique of DSM-III-R’s definition of mental disorder. Psychological Review, 99(2), 232–247. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.99.2.232
Wakefield, J. C. (1992b). The concept of mental disorder: On the boundary between biological facts and social values. American Psychologist, 47(3), 373–388. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.47.3.373
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Copyright (c) 2022 Itsue Nakaya-Perez