Berend Verhoeff

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One of the central aims of autism research is to identify specific neurodevelopmental mechanisms that cause and explain the visible autistic signs and symptoms. In this short paper, I argue that the persistent search for autism-specific pathophysiologies has two fundamental difficulties. The first regards the growing gap between basic autism science and(More)
Although clinicians and researchers working in the field of autism are generally not concerned with philosophical categories of kinds, a model for understanding the nature of autism is important for guiding research and clinical practice. Contemporary research in the field of autism is guided by the depiction of autism as a scientific object that can be(More)
Using the conceptual tools of philosopher of science Ludwik Fleck, I argue that the reframing of autism as a neurodevelopmental spectrum disorder is constrained by two governing 'styles of thought' of contemporary psychiatry. The first is the historically conditioned 'readiness for directed perception' of, and thinking in terms of, ontologically distinct(More)
In this article, I argue that the history and philosophy of autism need to account for two kinds of autism. Contemporary autism research and practice is structured, directed and connected by an 'ontological understanding of disease'. This implies that autism is understood as a disease like any other medical disease, existing independently of its particular(More)
Autism research is facing profound difficulties. The lack of clinically valuable translations from the biomedical and neurosciences, the variability and heterogeneity of the diagnostic category, and the lack of control over the 'autism epidemic,' are among the most urgent problems facing autism today. Instead of encouraging the prevailing tendency to(More)
438 Vol 4 June 2017 within-group variation. Consequently, there is no point in conveying that a child with ADHD has a brain disorder. Moreover, brain scans can only differ and never tell which characteristics should count as a disorder. Rather than that it expresses itself through a wide variety of symptoms, ADHD is the medical(More)
In this paper, I argue that a new relation between past and present - a supposed historical continuity in the meaning of autism - is created by the histories written by the discipline itself. In histories of autism written by 'practitioner-historians', a sense of scientific progress and an essentialist understanding of autism legitimize and reinforce(More)
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