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Re: Biopsychosocial vs Biological Reductionism

Posted by Estella on September 2, 2006, at 12:56:18

In reply to Re: Biopsychosocial vs Biological Reductionism, posted by SLS on September 2, 2006, at 6:33:49

We don't have very good models of any disorder on any level of analysis. I mean... There are models but they aren't particularly good. I guess people are trying to make them better. Hard to know whether you want a model on one level of explanation (so you have a model for each level of explanation) or whether you could make a model that is interlevel.

> Fortunately, both the reductionist and the psychosocial perspectives are in place to research problems involving the microscopic and the macroscopic. Of course, there are people who integrate both into their approach to understanding mental illness. It's not that hard.

Well... There is still a lot of division. Different people work within different frameworks and talk past each other a little and ignore each others results etc.

Sure, progress is being made. But there is still a lot of talking past.

I'm not sure that I've nailed a justification for multi-leveled models given supervenience (logical dependence of high level processes on low level processes). I mean... There is a pragmatic argument but I'd like a logical one too.

I'm also interested in whether different levels might be fundamental for different disorders or whether every disorder is best given an interlevel explanation.

It can be hard to see how to offer a good detailed interlevel model.

E.g., there are good cognitive models of autism as theory of mind deficit. I don't know whether they have done neuro-imaging to try and localise a 'theory of mind' module... Some people think there is a theory of mind module. They might be cognitive psychologists, however, I'm not sure how neuroscience feels about a purported localisation of a theory of mind module. If neuroscience can't find one then...

Have they falsified the cognitive explanation...
Or is cognitive psychology sufficiently autonomous from neuroscience to be able to say 'different individuals brains implement theory of mind differently'.


There were social models of autism. Don't know if there are anymore (I'm thinking of the 'old' theory about parenting. Don't know whether more research has been done into social factors though).

Seems possible that different things could be relevant to different individuals.

Lets say the following are causal factors for anxiety (in the sense of being sufficient but not necessary)

- endocrine system
- crappy environment

are there two kinds of anxiety (the first kind and the second kind) or is anxiety multiply realised? don't know... but taxonomy might change...

i think someone or other claimed to have found... 5 kinds of premenstrual disorder (mental health kind of disorder)

But it is funny that most people get to be NOS.




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