Imagination, delusion, and self-deception

Abstract
Subjects with delusions profess to believe some extremely peculiar things. Patients with Capgras delusion sincerely assert that, for example, their spouses have been replaced by impostors. Patients with Cotard’s delusion sincerely assert that they are dead. Many philosophers and psychologists are hesitant to say that delusional subjects genuinely believe the contents of their delusions.2 One way to reinterpret delusional subjects is to say that we’ve misidentified the content of the problematic belief. So for example, rather than believing that his wife is has been replaced by an impostor, we might say that the victim of Capgras delusion believes that it is, in some respects, as if his wife has been replaced by an impostor. Another is to say that we’ve misidentified the attitude that the delusional subject bears to the content of their delusion. So for example, Gregory Currie and co-authors have suggested that rather than believing that his wife has been replaced by an impostor, we should say that the victim of Capgras delusion merely imagines that his wife has been replaced by an impostor.3.
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