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Classifying Madness

RRP $574.99

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This book is about the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, more commonly known as the D.S.M. The D.S.M. is published by the American Psychiatric Association and aims to list and describe all mental disorders. The D.S.M. is embedded in mental health care at every turn. In the U.S., hospital records note a D.S.M. diagnosis and medical insurance companies demand D.S.M. codes before they will consider reimbursing for the cost of care. Worldwide, research papers are couched in D.S.M. terminology and pharmaceutical companies list the D.S.M. diagnoses that their drugs treat. Mental health professionals, and their patients, can not avoid being affected by the D.S.M.

The D.S.M. is important, but it is also controversial. While its publishers claim that the D.S.M. is a scientific classification system based on sound data, many have doubts. Big business has interests in the D.S.M. Perhaps the D.S.M. has been distorted by pressures stemming from insurance companies, or from pharmaceutical companies? Others are concerned that whether a condition is classified as a mental disorder depends too greatly on social and political factors. More conceptual worries are also frequent. If classification requires a theory, and if mental disorders are poorly understood, then a sound classification system may be presently unobtainable. Possibly even attempting to construct a classification system that "cuts nature at the joints" is conceptually na‹ve. Maybe types of mental disorder are radically unlike, say, chemical elements, and simply fail to have a natural structure.

Classifying Madness offers a sustained philosophical critique of the D.S.M. that addresses these concerns. The first half of the book asks whether the project of constructing a classification of mental disorders that reflects natural distinctions makes sense. I conclude that it does. The second half of the book addresses epistemic worries. Even supposing a natural classification system to be possible in principle, there may be reasons to be suspicious of the categories included in the D.S.M. I examine the extent to which the D.S.M. depends on psychiatric theory, and look at how it has been shaped by social and financial factors. I aim to be critical of the D.S.M. without being antagonistic towards it. Ultimately, however, I am forced to conclude that although the D.S.M. is of immense practical importance, it is not on track to become the best possible classification of mental disorders.

Classifying Madness will be of interest to both mental health professionals and to philosophers interested in classification in science. The possibility that there may be philosophical difficulties with the D.S.M. has become a commonplace in the mental health literature, and Classifying Madness offers mental health professionals an opportunity to explore suspicions that there might be conceptual problems with the D.S.M. For philosophers, this book aims to contribute to debates in the philosophy of science concerning natural kinds, the theory-ladenness of classification, and the effect of sociological factors in science. These issues are normally approached via a consideration of the natural sciences and, as will be seen, approaching them via a consideration of psychiatry helps shed new light on old problems.


Revolutionary Grenada

RRP $387.99

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Based on hitherto classified government documents and interviews with many of the key decision-makers, the author examines the People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada's (PRG) economic successes and failures during its four and one-half year reign. It includes discussions of how the PRG attempted to realize its intentions; the most important political and economic problems faced by the government in light of its foreign aid socialism strategy; Grenada's role in the Soviet block; how Grenada gained allies and aid; general problems of economic development, including proposed solutions and results; and the different sectors of the Grenadan economy and the macroeconomic success of the PRG.


Light, Lasers, And Synchrotron Radiation

RRP $821.99

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This volume contains the formal record of the lectures presented at the 9th Course of the International School of Radiation Damage and Protection held at the "E . Majorana" International Centre for Scientific Culture in Erice (Italy) from May 9 to May 20, 1989. This course was the last of a series of 4 courses, started in 1981, that were dedicated to the assessment of risk hazard from non-ionizing radiation. The proceedings of these courses were all published by Plenum Press with the following headings: 1) M. Grandolfo, S. M. Michaelson and A. Rindi, Eds. : "Biological Effects and Dosimetry of Nonionizing Radiation; Radiofrequency and Microwave Energy", Plenum Press, New York, NATO ASI Series A Life Sciences, Vo1. 49 (1983); 2) M. Grandolfo, S. M. Michaelson and A. Rindi, Eds. : "Biological Effects and Dosimetry of Static and ELF Electromagnetic Fields", Plenum Press, New York, E. Majorana International Science Series, Life Sciences, Vol. 19 (1985) ; 3) M. H. Repacholi, M. Grandolfo and A. Rindi, Eds. : "Ultrasound; medical applications, biological effects and hazard potential", Plenum Press, New York (1987). We hope that all these volumes together may represent a complete textbook and a reference for the students and scientists interested in the physics, biology, measurement and dosimetry, health effects and standard setting, in short, the risk assessment of that wide field of radiation presently classified as non-ionizing radiation. We are indebted to the Associa?ione Italiana Protezione dalle Radiazioni (AIRP), The Internat:l.


Daisy Madigan's Paradise

RRP $13.99

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When tragedy falls upon 15 year old Daisy Madigan, she escapes to the only place she feels safe, the cemetery of Abney Park. There, in the company of the dearly departed, she realises she is changing, growing stronger and faster by the day. But in the darkness lurks a terror even she can't imagine facing.



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