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On the notion of mental illness: Problematizing the medical-model conception of certain abnormal behaviour and mental afflictions
Linköping University, The Tema Institute. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
1990 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study inquires into some polemics concerning the notion of mentalillness or disease. Some central arguments in the debate on psychiatry, of the 1960's and early 70's, are focused on.

The analysis is performed in two steps. Important theoretical dimensionsof the early debate are analyzed in the context of a discussion of thepolemics surrounding Thomas Szasz's criticism of psychiatry. Then anattempt is made to take the analysis further by taking into account recentdevelopments in the philosophy of medicine. The theoretical line of criticism of the mental-illness notion is tested against two elaborate andarticulate medical models, with regard to their application to abnormal behaviour and mental afflictions.

The conclusion is that the medical-model conception of so-called mental-illness phenomena appears problematic from theoretical points of view.

In a final chapter some ideological dimensions of the debate on the notion of mental illness are touched upon.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 1990. , 140 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 54
Keyword [en]
anti-psychiatry, concept of mental illness, medical model of mental illness, theory of psychiatry
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-35114Local ID: 24905ISBN: 91-7870-664-5OAI: diva2:255962
Public defence
1990-06-08, Sal Elysion, Hus-T, Universitetsområdet Valla, Linköping, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2012-05-31Bibliographically approved

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Svensson, Tommy
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