Prototype for a Scientific Classification of Mental Disorders
Public Lecture given by Robert Miller at Department of Psychiatry, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, 7.00pm, April 12th 2016.
Abstract: The classification of mental disorders, as used by the psychiatric profession in the last century, has never been based on true scientific reasoning. The one pioneer who attempted this – long neglected even in the German-speaking world – was Carl Wernicke, whose life’s work remained incomplete, due to his premature death in 1905. Recently, in collaboration with John Dennison of Otago University, I was involved in producing the first available edited English translation of Wernicke’s Grundriss der Psychiatrie from 1906. Inspired by this seminal work, I can now see at least the framework for recasting the description and classification of mental disorders, based on a neuroscience-based concept of human nature in its vast variety. This also draws on some of my own theory of normal brain function, and work of pioneers such as Ernst Kretschmer and Victor Frankl.