Dsm-iv meets philosophy

Allen Frances, Avram H. Mack, Micheal B. First, Thomas A. Widiger, Ruth Ross, Leslie Forman, Wendy Wakefield Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The authors discuss some of the conceptual issues that must be considered in using and understanding psychiatric classification. DSM-IVis a practical and common sense nosology of psychiatric disorders that is intended to improve communication in clinical practice and in researchstudies. DSM-IV has no philosophic pretensions but does raise many philosphical questions. This paper describes the development of DSM-IV and the way in which it addresses a number of philosophic issues: Nominalism vs. realism, epistemologyin science, the mind/body dichotomy, the definition of mental disorders, and dimensional vs. categorical classification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-218
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Medicine and Philosophy (United Kingdom)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1994


  • DSM-IV
  • Nosology
  • Psychiatric classification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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