Samples Science Importance of Psychopharmacology

Importance of Psychopharmacology

339 words 2 page(s)

The scientific discovery selected by the present author is the phenomenon of psychopharmacology. The psychopharmacological revolution has been such that it has become a hegemony within the context of the surrounding discourses. Now, the first issue that will be raised here is the concept of discourse itself, which was challenged by thinkers such as Richard Rorty (1991) and Michel Foucault (1982). They argue that the empirical sciences have quashed other discourses and which are now indicative of “privileged representations”. Whilst the problem of relativism is evident here, the authors move closer in the direction of a perspectival epistemology as articulated by Nietzsche (Giere, 2010).

Thusly, the central issue that must be observed here is the status of psychopharmacology as generators of norms, rather than objective empirical facts. What is meant by this remark is that rather than psychiatry being a first-line treatment of individual s with mental health problems on account of historical inductive claims that have permitted the conceptualization of pathology and cure, it is rather bound up with a set of normative judgements as well. Pharmaceutical advertising (illegal in Europe) continues to take place in the United States, influencing physical praxis and patient self-diagnosis and self-medication. These latter issues arise where heteronomous entities control the discourse surrounding medicine so as to allow for particular drugs to maintain a hegemony. This then opens up problems of deterrence.

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This discussion post is not indicative of the grieved outcry of the bewailers of Big Pharma, but rather a glance cast at the manner by which treatment and cure are locked into a central discourse. Published scientific research is also colored by its own distinctive norms, epistemic basis and ontology, which renders the principle of progress not entirely exact in the discipline of psychiatry. However, inductive reasoning does allow for the inference of side effect profiles and thusly have a valid position in this mix.

  • Foucault, M. (1982). The Archaeology of Knowledge. New York: Vintage.
  • Giere, R. N. (2010). Scientific Perspectivism. Chicago: University Press.
  • Rorty, R. (1991). Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Philosophical Papers. Cambridge: University Press.