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Extraordinary Science and PsychiatryResponses to the Crisis in Mental Health Research$
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Jeffrey Poland and Serife Tekin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035484

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035484.001.0001

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Introduction: Psychiatric Research and Extraordinary Science

Introduction: Psychiatric Research and Extraordinary Science

(p.1) 1 Introduction: Psychiatric Research and Extraordinary Science
Extraordinary Science and Psychiatry
Jeffrey Poland, Şerife Tekin
The MIT Press

This chapter introduces the core thematic ideas of the present volume: that psychiatric research is in crisis, that it has entered a period of extraordinary science, and that a fully adequate response to the crisis should be responsive to the perspectives and interests of persons. We identify various sources of the crisis, drawing special attention to controversies concerning the role of the DSM in psychiatric research. And, we identify different strategies of response to the current crisis, including approaches that emphasize the importance of personal perspectives and the needs of the clinic and those that emphasize the important role of various scientific research programs. Further, we survey various developments (e.g., debates over fundamentals and a role for philosophical analysis, probing of the problems of the DSM framework, relaxation of standard forms of research practice, the introduction of the Research Domain Criteria initiative and other novel research programs) that are jointly suggestive of Thomas Kuhn’s characterization of periods of crisis that can arise in scientific research and of the “extraordinary science” that ensues. We suggest that this Kuhnian framework is useful for understanding the state of psychiatric research and it provides a framework for thinking about responses to the current crisis. We conclude with brief overviews of the contributions to the volume, each of which provides such a response.

Keywords:   Crisis in psychiatric research, extraordinary science, psychiatry, problems with the DSM, RDoC, explanation, philosophy of psychiatry

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