Evaluating the validity of ‘schizophrenia’
DOI link for Evaluating the validity of ‘schizophrenia’
Evaluating the validity of ‘schizophrenia’ book
Two major claims have been made about the concept of schizophrenia: first, that it is a scientific concept or, at least, that those who use it work within a scientific framework (for example, Gottesman and Shields, 1982; Wing, 1988; APA, 1994; Sartorius, 1994; Ross and Pam, 1995) and, second, that the term refers to a particular kind of medical pattern known as a syndrome (Gottesman and Shields, 1982; Kendell, 1991; APA, 1994). These claims imply that the concept has been developed and is used in a manner similar to that of other concepts which claim scientific status and that the phenomena to which it refers are similar to those usually denoted by the medical term ‘syndrome’. This chapter will describe in detail what is meant by these claims, not least because their meaning is rarely spelt out and is often misrepresented in the literature, but also as a necessary prelude to evaluating whether the introduction, development and use of the concept of schizophrenia actually conforms to the claims made about it.