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Salud mental

versão impressa ISSN 0185-3325


ROJAS MALPICA, Carlos. Definition, content and limits of contemporary psychiatry. Salud Ment [online]. 2012, vol.35, n.3, pp.181-188. ISSN 0185-3325.

The purpose of this paper is to review the definitions of psychiatry and the epistemological structure of the discipline as a branch of medical science. Reflection makes sense, because in order to navigate the flood of information provided in the journals and scientific conferences today, the psychiatrist requires a body of doctrine to guide, regulate and structure its practice. Critical study and hermeneutic rigour allow us to specify the three largest circulation definitions on the Spanish-speaking world, and also add some new challenges that social organization is asking the mental health professionals, which must be incorporated into their responsabilities and functions. It also discusses the relationship of psychiatry and the so-called human sciences, neurology and neuroscience, as well as their adherence to the general field of medical sciences. Given the diversity of interests, sources of knowledge and research methods that incorporates within it, psychiatry has been considered as an heterogeneous and heterological science. It is closer to the approach of transdisciplinarity complexity than the structure of the formal disciplines. This places it in an awkward position within the set of medical sciences. Hence, the transit route passes along the edge of epistemological suspicion.

Palavras-chave : Psychiatry; epistemology of psychiatry; neurosciences; neurology; medicine and psychiatry.

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