Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D,B.C.S.A.,DAPA.

Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D,B.C.S.A.,DAPA.
e-mail: batushkad@yahoo.com

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


When we seek to judge behavior, we come upon some great difficulties. Let us say that we have identified a person as 'aggressive'. What exactly is an aggressive act? A person who hunts an animal? Is that an aggressive act? Johnny punches Sally in the nose, is that an aggressive act? A nation invades another nation. Is that an aggressive act? Mr. Smith invests a lot into the stock market. Is he an aggressive investor? George rises to the top of his company. Is he aggressive? How we answer this is based on our values. However, psychiatry would like us to think that judging and categorizing behavior is a science, that it is medicine. So, understanding that these are value judgments, we could say that 'well, a behavior that infringes on the rights of others is a problem'. Indeed, he may be, but to state this means we are dealing with legality, not medicine. Therefore, psychiatry can be said to be an arm of the law, a means of social control and defining who are the offenders of the social 'norms'. From this arises the question as to whether this position should be afforded to psychiatrists to be the arbitrators of values and what society 'should look like'.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.

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