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Approaches to Insanity: A Philosophical and Sociological by Jeff Coulter

By Jeff Coulter

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Sample text

The recurrent problem in such work has been the tendency to rather abstract and formal specifications which create great difficulty for replication: given a very abstract and formal description, what can and cannot count as a legitimate set of observables within its frame of reference? Attempting to remove as many contextual particularities as possible from the individual case interaction processes leaves behind only a vague and loose formulation which has to be concretised again in some other set of circumstances of interaction if it is to serve as a general theory covering many cases.

If we cannot make identifications separately from Wynne's group, then we can never be in any position either to validate or refute their claims. Although Wynne and his colleagues stipulate that their 'clinical examples are included for illustration and clarification, not for statistical verification,' 26 it is assumed that any independent team of researchers will find it a straightforward, matter to register some set of events as the 'same' as or 'equivalent' to those appraised in the paradigm study.

Maher Introduction to Research in Psychopathology McGraw-Hill {1970) p. 37. The discussion of construct validity draws on Bernard S. Phillips, Social Research New York, Macmillan {1966) 10 _Barbara Wootton Social Science and Social Pathology Allen & Unwin {1959) p. 225 et seq 11. R. D. Laing The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise Penguin ( 1968) 12. Thomas S. Szasz 'The Psychiatric Classification of Behaviour: A Strategy of Personal Constraint' in Leonard D. ) The Classification of Behaviour Disorders Aldine Publishing Co.

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