Psychopathology and Truth: A Defense of Realism

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 44 (4):507-520 (2019)
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Recently Kenneth Kendler and Peter Zachar have raised doubts about the correspondence theory of truth and scientific realism in psychopathology. They argue that coherentist or pragmatist approaches to truth are better suited for understanding the reality of psychiatric disorders. In this article, I show that rejecting realism based on the correspondence theory is deeply problematic: It makes psychopathology categorically different from other sciences, and results in an implausible view of scientific discovery and progress. As an alternative, I suggest a robustness-based approach that can accommodate the significance of coherence and pragmatic factors without rejecting scientific realism and the correspondence theory of truth.



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Markus Eronen
University of Groningen

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