Psychopathology is usually recognized as an important clinical and research tool in psychiatric textbooks. However, in the era of operationalized psychiatric diagnosis, therapeutic guidelines and strong neuroscientific impact on the self-understanding of psychiatry, its role became somewhat insecure in recent decades. And it has even been argued that psychopathology will sooner or later be fully replaced by neuroscientific concepts. This paper elucidates the theoretical (and, partly, historical) framework of this debate and argues for a modern understanding of psychopathology. This understanding will, on the one hand, be compatible with neurobiological and social sciences appoaches to mental illness, and, on the other hand, will not abandon psychopathology's demand to be an indispensable foundation of psychiatry.