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On validators for psychiatric categories

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The concept of a validator for a psychiatric category developed in the second half of the 20th century and is still in use. Surprisingly, the term ‘validator’ has never been explicitly defined in the psychiatric literature. Moreover, although lists of different kinds of validators have often been stated, there has been no explicit discussion in the literature about how different kinds of validator evidence should be aggregated in a decision about how to create, revise or remove a psychiatric category. The goal of this paper is to trace the development of the concept of a psychiatric validator, showing how our understanding has changed over time. With this in mind, I evaluate possible recommendations for aggregating validator evidence.

This talk is part of the CamPoS (Cambridge Philosophy of Science) seminar series.

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