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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

Print version ISSN 0034-7450


RESTREPO, Jorge Emiro. Is an Epistemological Recalibration of Psychiatry Necessary?. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2007, vol.36, n.3, pp.508-529. ISSN 0034-7450.

Introduction: The fundamental elements considered outstanding and confl icting in the theoretical body of contemporary psychiatry are exposed, stemming from the study of the emergence of language and the conceptualization of current psychopathology. The objective is to outline the need for a critical reconstructive analysis of the epistemology of psychiatry starting from the study of the explanatory capacity of its conceptual body and its theoretical system. Method and Results: A series of arguments are developed that show the conceptual and theoretical disparities of psychiatry in connection with current neuroscience starting from the analysis of the emergence of psychopathological concepts in the descriptive semiology of the XIX century. The nature and the construction of concepts are studied in order to highlight the differences between the method of psychiatry and the method of neuroscience and to clarify the ontologic disparities. A reference is made to the dissimilar types of study developed by psychiatry and neuroscience from an analysis of its objects and methods, within the framework of the current discussion of the natural and the social sciences. Conclusion: Psychiatry is at an epistemological disjunctive: to tune in its study object with that of neuroscience and to give up its language and mentalist conceptualization or to revise and strengthen its conceptual and theoretical body for the sake of establishing a fi eld of autonomous and complementary study to that of neuroscience.

Keywords : Psychiatry; knowledge; psychopathology.

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