Clinical diagnostics in psychiatry — empirical and theoretical levels of knowledge (on the example of analysis of a written text). Part 1

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The paper shows correlation of empirical and theoretical levels of knowledge in psychiatry by analyzing a single text written by a patient. The patient’s text is analyzed three times. The first analysis performed by a linguist demonstrates how informative for a clinician can be an attentive attitude to the patient’s Word. The second analysis is a standard procedure for psychiatric phenomenological diagnostics. It is shown that the formulation of a clinical diagnosis from epistemological positions is equivalent to establishing a scientific fact (completion of empirical research): there is no theoretical modeling of pathological processes in psychiatry today; it all ends at the stage of recognizing the symptoms, without any attempt to understand them. The third analysis demonstrates the advantages in understanding pathological mechanisms provided by the explanatory model (interpretation of the text from the perspective of the bipersonal model of personality).

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About the authors

Elena N. Davtian

Russian State Pedagogical University named after A.I. Herzen; St.-Petersburg City Psycho-Neurology Dispensary №5

Author for correspondence.

Russian Federation, 191186, St.-Petersburg, Moika river emb., 48; 195176, St.-Petersburg, Revolution highway, 17

Stepan E. Davtian

St.-Petersburg State University


Russian Federation, 199106, St.-Petersburg, Vasiljevsky island, 21-st line, 8а

Elena V. Uryson

Russian Language Institute named after V.V. Vinogradov of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Russian Federation, 119019, Moscow, Volhonka str., 18/2


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