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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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Personalized Psychiatry and Scientific Causal Explanations: Two Accounts

Personalized Psychiatry and Scientific Causal Explanations: Two Accounts

(p.137) 7 Personalized Psychiatry and Scientific Causal Explanations: Two Accounts
Extraordinary Science and Psychiatry

Aaron Kostko

John Bickle

The MIT Press

Contemporary personalized psychiatry faces head-on the tension to be individualized and patient-centered, while also striving to be scientific. We explore this tension by applying two accounts of scientific causal explanation, Woodward’s interventionist account and Silva, Landreth, and Bickle’s metascientific account, to recent research in social neuroscience and environmental epigenetics that bear directly on psychopathology. We’re less concerned in this chapter with which account of causal-mechanistic explanation is right, although we will have some comments about the relative advantages of each. Instead we stress two lessons for personalized psychiatry. First, properly understood, basic scientific research is not necessarily inconsistent with the aims of personalized psychiatry. There are even ways the former can advance the latter. Second, non-epistemic considerations such as clinical utility and therapeutic applicability partly determine which account of scientific causal explanation best fits with reasonable interpretations of personalized psychiatry, including questions about the most appropriate level at which to explain psychiatric disorders.

Keywords:   interventionist account of causal explanation, metascientific account of causal explanation, troop dominance hierarchy, maternal behaviour, epigenetics, empathetic personalized psychiatry, eclectic personalized psychiatry, embracive personalized psychiatry

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