Charles Dudley Warner's oft-quoted observation about the weather may aptly be applied to the taking of a more rigorous approach to the conceptual problems of psychopathology—lots of talk but not much doing. This volume represents a distinguished effort to do something about the problem and it will be read and discussed by many thoughtful clinicians and psychiatric researchers.
The research which is reported in this book began with a thesis, indeed a prejudice, shared by many who deplore the anecdotal nature and conceptual sloppiness of much of the thinking in contemporary psychiatry. It is an argument against a major—and to this reviewer an alarming—trend in American psychiatry: the increasing tendency to confuse humanism and humanitarianism with disregard for scientific rigor. This Zeitgeist tends to downgrade the significance of knowledge and to equate empathic know-nothingness with respect for the dignity and