A NICE Game of Minecraft: Philosophical Flaws Underpinning UK Depression Guideline Nosology


From the BMJ. The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has delineated certain subclassifications of persistent depression in its new guideline, which grossly distorts the phenomenology of depression. This approach commits a fundamental philosophical error in conflating absence of knowledge with knowledge of absence. In this sense, the new guideline appears to be engaging in an activity akin to the digital game Minecraft, in which the craft of building structures from units of construction is largely divorced from the laws of physics. The risk of ignoring these philosophical errors and making false claims about scientific plausibility is that the guideline recommendations inevitably represent a highly distorted phenomenology of depression and will be of very little value to patients or practitioners looking for guidance on best possible treatment options.

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