A pluralistic philosophy of psychiatric research

David Lambert (doctoral project, ongoing)

Science works best, says current philosophy of science, when it exhibits pluralities of different kinds (theories, concepts, approaches, models, methods, explanations, social diversity, ontologies, taxonomies, …). This is (part of) what some would call a ‘pluralist stance’ and it should also hold for psychiatric research.

But what does it mean to adopt a pluralist stance and what are the options for spelling it out? How might it help with normative reasoning about research (in psychiatry)? I examine current scientific pluralisms in philosophy of science closely to produce a pluralistic philosophy of psychiatric research that is fit for the needs of the field. So, the result is a philosophical stance that helps understanding and normative reasoning about research in psychiatry. To achieve this, I require a working conceptual analysis of philosophical stances, a systematic way of talking about scientific pluralisms, a good grasp of pluralities in psychiatric research, and, finally, a case that affords me the opportunity to put pluralisms to the test.