The Rise and Fall of Kraepelinian Psychiatry

Psychiatric classifications emerge from and are employed in the context of theoretical approaches that take certain assumptions about the nature of mental illness for granted. This presentation will provide an overview of the historical development of Kraepelinian and neo-Kraepelinian psychiatric classifications and will examine how questions of classification, especially the tension between description and hypothetical-conjectural methods, , have intersected with questions about the nature of psychiatric disorders in modern history. This talk will end with an appreciation of the ongoing controversies reflecting difficulties inherent in defining and classifying mental illness, with some preliminary remarks on future directions.

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