Psychiatry's Problem with Reductionism

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Psychiatrists often contrast the biopsychosocial approach to mental illness with
reductionism. However, what reduction in psychiatry might involve, what it entails for the biopsychosocial approach, and what its clinical implications might be, are questions that have not been satisfactorily addressed to date. On the contrary, psychiatrists’ discussions of reductionism have often obscured these issues. The aims of this paper are to consider some such discussions of reductionism, to disentangle and clarify some of the issues discussed, and to indicate how psychiatrists—particularly advocates of the biopsychosocial approach—might apply thought about reductionism usefully and productively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-229
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology
Early online date11 Sept 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Sept 2019

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