Science and "pragmatism" in DSM: a question of priorities

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Date: Dec. 2013
From: Psychiatric Times(Vol. 30, Issue 12)
Publisher: Intellisphere, LLC
Document Type: Article
Length: 700 words
Lexile Measure: 1220L

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In my reference to Prof. Decker's excellent history of DSM-III, I don't mean to imply that Prof. Decker herself agrees with my interpretation of her exposition. Readers can judge for themselves if the facts she uncovers agree with my interpretations or hers. To adapt an old saying: the facts are the facts; interpretations can differ. Besides her book, readers should also consult the work of the historian Edward Shorter [Beyond Prozac).

The main problem here is not that past DSM leaders were derelict or purely political. The problem is that they now say that they would place science below pragmatism, meaning whatever they think is best, as the core criterion for revising DSM. This is a clear statement that DSM is unscientific; it doesn't require much interpretation. Furthermore, I maintain that any science, whether physics or psychology, has certain basic standards, the first of which is actually believing that there are right answers, and seeking to get them right. The pragmatic approach of these DSM leaders is to try to reach consensus on what the...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A353693569