The author examines the influence of authoritative nosological systems--those developed by an authoritative body or organization (e.g., the DSM, ICD, RDoC)--on the development of scientific theory and research. Although there has been extensive discussion of how such systems should be organized, and of the historical role of such systems, little focus has been placed on whether these systems impede or facilitate scientific progress. The author reviews the nature and role of constructs in scientific theory and the role of authoritative taxonomy in science. He presents an argument that, although authoritative classification systems clearly have value for nonscientific purposes, or for specific scientific purposes, the systems themselves, at least as they have been constructed thus far, likely impede scientific development by constraining competitive discourse. Implications and recommendations are discussed.