Psychotic Continuum or Disease Entities? The Critical Impact of Nosology on the Problem of Aetiology

  • T. J. Crow


With the privilege of making the first and the last contributions of the symposium I will attempt to relate the end to the beginning - to draw from our discussions of nosological problems some lessons for the central issue of aetiology. As my text I take the principle of the thirteenth century Franciscan William of Ockham, who is described as a “nominalist” - that is to say as someone who believes that the labels that we use are arbitrary and do not necessarily represent underlying realities. Ockham’s principle (the razor) is variously stated as“Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity”or“It is vain to do with more what can be done with less”.


Sexual Selection Disease Entity Psychotic Illness Cerebral Asymmetry Basic Symptom 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. J. Crow
    • 1
  1. 1.University Department of Psychiatry, Warneford HospitalOxfordUK

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