In Defence of Modest Doxasticism about Delusions

Neuroethics 5 (1):39-53 (2012)
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Abstract

Here I reply to the main points raised by the commentators on the arguments put forward in my Delusions and Other Irrational Beliefs (OUP, 2009). My response is aimed at defending a modest doxastic account of clinical delusions, and is articulated in three sections. First, I consider the view that delusions are inbetween perceptual and doxastic states, defended by Jacob Hohwy and Vivek Rajan, and the view that delusions are failed attempts at believing or not-quitebeliefs, proposed by Eric Schwitzgebel and Maura Tumulty. Then, I address the relationship between the doxastic account of delusions and the role, nature, and prospects of folk psychology, which is discussed by Dominic Murphy, Keith Frankish, and Maura Tumulty in their contributions. In the final remarks, I turn to the continuity thesis and suggest that, although there are important differences between clinical delusions and non-pathological beliefs, these differences cannot be characterised satisfactorily in epistemic terms.

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Lisa Bortolotti
University of Birmingham