Review Of "The Philosophical Defence Of Psychiatry" By L. Reznek

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Psychiatry has been under enormous attack in recent decades, not only for its interminable parade of conflicting but unsupportable claims and its lack of convincing cures, but for the ways in which it “creates” diseases through labeling, and lends itself to forces of control and oppression. It is against this backdrop that Reznek undertakes a valiant defense of the profession in opposition to a host of critics. His tools in this case are philosophic arguments, drawn from many sectors of contemporary philosophy, and applied seriatim to the various enclaves of critique. After attempting to locate fallacies and incoherencies in each case, he undertakes a philosophic justification of a disease model of abnormal behavior, universal in application, and lending itself to further use of chemical cures and institutionalization. The analysis is clear and economical, and never shies from head-on confrontation with the opposition. Yet, Reznek's furtive effort to patch the myriad holes in this deeply impaired vessel is flawed by incoherencies, cul de sacs, and sophistic twists of his own. One comes away feeling the critics have the better part of the argument. For advanced undergraduates and above.


This work is freely available courtesy of Choice Reviews. The review has been reproduced in full in the abstract field.

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