DSM-III AND THE POLITICS—SCIENCE
DICHOTOMY SYNDROME: A RESPONSE TO
THOMAS E. SCHACHT'S "DSM-III AND
THE POLITICS OF TRUTH"
ROBERT L. SPITZER
In his article, "DSM-III and the Politics of Truth" (American Psychologist, 40, pp. 513-521), Thomas Schacht presents the original hypothesis that the traditional view of science and politics as mutually exclusive domains has limited discussion and understanding about DSM-III (American Psychiatric Association, 1980) and has led to "half-truths" and "double-talk" by those defending DSM‐ III. If one adopts Schacht's remarkably broad concept of politics, it is clear that his analysis does not go far enough. I will show that Schacht has failed to list a number of important political elements of DSM-III, some of which have been extensively discussed in the literature, but others of which have not.
Next, I will draw attention to a less than trivial flaw in Schacht's article: the methodology that he employs to determine that an individual suffers from the politics—science dichotomy (what I term the politics-science dichotomy syndrome or PSDS). Employing a rigorous definition of PSDS, I will show that the illustrations Schacht presents as evidence that I suffer from the syndrome are far from convincing.
Central to Schacht's analysis is his broad concept of what constitutes politics. His definition includes as political all those activities that are motivated by or have consequences for the____________________
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Publication information: Book title: The Restoration of Dialogue:Readings in the Philosophy of Clinical Psychology. Contributors: Ronald B. Miller - Editor. Publisher: APA Books. Place of publication: Washington, DC. Publication year: 1992. Page number: 229.
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