Sunday, February 18, 2007

Mark Kleiman on the psychiatrization of political discourse

I've long been a nag at Obsidian Wings about using psychiatric terminology in argument with other commenters and in discussing current political figures. I think it degrades the discourse, plays to prejudice, and is generally useless. It's especially shameful when an actual doctor like Krauthammer does it. Mark Kleiman's trenchant post shows me I didn't know the half of it.

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Anonymous SLC said...

I just discovered this blog, coming here from Mr. Yglesias' blog. Like Mr Rilkeblog, I also have a PhD in elementary particle physics, although I haven't been in the field for a long time.

I would point out that Dr. Krauthammer does have an MD degree. It is my understanding that he has never practiced as he suffered his unfortunate accident diving into the shallow end of a swimming pool shortly after getting his degree. It is also my understanding that he never served an internship or a residency either. Thus I am not sure that it is correct to refer to him as an actual doctor.

10/3/07 10:15  
Blogger rilkefan said...

Welcome to this humble blog. Maybe I'll start posting more regularly when Rilkekind learns to walk and talk and leaves for college.

Re Krauthammer, Wikipedia says:

"... he earned an M.D. from Harvard University's medical school in 1975, and worked as a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

From 1975-1978, Krauthammer was a Resident and then a Chief Resident in Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital."

He seems entirely deserving of the above opprobrium.

10/3/07 13:47  

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