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Arts & Culture

Philosophy Talk: Diseases of the Mind

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How do mental disorders differ from diseases of the body? 

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is the primary reference catalog for mental health illnesses. But whereas a medical textbook will show you the picture of a broken bone or a tumor, leaf through the DSM and you will find just one thing: lists of symptoms. Who creates these lists, and based on what criteria? Do such lists really capture the nature of a mental illness? Does our classification system construct mental illness, or does it reveal underlying facts from genetics or neuroscience? John and Ken diagnose the issues with Jerome Wakefield from NYU, co-author of The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow Into Depressive Disorder. Sunday 11/19 at 11 am and Tuesday 11/21 at 12 noon.