Front cover image for The disease concept of alcoholism

The disease concept of alcoholism

"The subject of this study represents not more than a small section of the problems of alcohol--a very small section indeed. Readers are often under the impression that the choice of a subject by a scientific writer is an indication of the supreme importance which he attaches to the matter in question. Furthermore, many readers are inclined to believe that the author regards his chosen topic as the core of the problem. In order to avoid any misunderstanding on this score, I wish to state that the question of the disease nature of "alcoholism" is a part issue, but as such a fairly important one. I have undertaken this study at the request of The Christopher D. Smithers Foundation; the idea appealed to me as an opportunity for an attempt to analyze opinions and attitudes concerning this question. It goes against my grain to use the expression disease concept--the proper wording would be disease conception. But the publisher's objection that conception sounds awkward must be admitted. The misuse of concept for conception has become so well established in American writing and conversation that it has become a quasi-correct use. Strictly speaking, alcoholism is a concept; so is disease. But that alcoholism is a disease is a viewpoint and thus a conception. Nevertheless I have bowed to the prevalent usage of concept, especially for the title of this book. Indeed, alcoholism itself is only a part issue--but this book is limited to the disease concept issue"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
eBook, English, [1960]
Hillhouse Press, New Haven, [1960]