Saturday, 11 September 2010

The myth of mental illness

Psychology shares a defect in common with the other so-called "soft sciences" — it is satisfied to describe things it cannot explain. The primary problem with a reliance on description with no explanations, is that such a field has no depth and no basis for intellectual growth.

This is why psychology's history is punctuated by fads, each hailed as a breakthrough, each eventually abandoned after its defects became obvious — psychoanalysis, various novel therapies, lobotomy, schizophrenia and autism blamed on refrigerator moms, Recovered Memory Therapy, Facilitated Communications and Asperger Syndrome.

But there's a more basic problem with a field that relies only on descriptions — it cannot become a full-fledged science....