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To define descriptive psychopathology as classification of disorders with respect to manifest signs and symptoms as opposed to deeper causes is a somewhat superficial construal that does not take into account the various ways that something can be brought under a description. The philosopher’s notion of bringing something under a description can be illustrated by a non-behaviorist reading of Gilbert Ryle’s book The Concept of Mind. That things can be brought under more than one description highlights the importance of re-describing. An important example of re-describing psychopathology is the discovery of panic disorder from which five desiderata for useful descriptions and re-descriptions can be derived. With respect to causes, the elucidation of a causal model for a phenotype can often lead us to notice something descriptively that we had not noticed before, in which case the causal model becomes part of a thicker description of the phenotype.
Knowing that one wants to go to the movies is an example of self-knowledge, knowledge of one's mental states. The term "privileged access" is due to Gilbert Ryle; on the Cartesian view that he is concerned to attack, "mind has a two-fold privileged access to its own doings". The distinction between privileged and peculiar access is one thing; the claim that we actually have one or both sorts of access is another. This chapter briefly reviews some evidence. One leading theory of self-knowledge classifies it as a variety of perceptual knowledge, in many respects like our perceptual knowledge of our environment. Belief, if true, offers a satisfying explanation of both privileged and peculiar access. Privileged access is explained because BEL is strongly self-verifying. According to the circularity objection, in order to follow DES, one has to have some knowledge of one's desires beforehand.
This chapter discusses four points of contact between the traditions of analytic and continental philosophy. The first three are moments when significant analytic philosophers wrote on Heidegger. Gilbert Ryle warns readers of the book's difficulty due to the fact that Heidegger imposes on himself the hard task of coining, and on us the alarming task of understanding, a complete new vocabulary. Rudolf Carnap uses excerpts from Heidegger's 1929 inaugural address "What Is Metaphysics?" as examples of how metaphysics rides natural language as it goes off the rails, though he admits that he faces an embarras de richesses of candidates. Richard Rorty considers Heidegger the greatest theoretical imagination of his time, an exemplary, gigantic, unforgettable figure, and one of the great synoptic imaginations of the time. Hubert Dreyfus has demonstrated the value of Heidegger's work by applying it precisely to what Rorty saw as the greatest obstacle to analytic-continental dialogue: science.
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