Synthese:1-32 (forthcoming)

Carolina Flores
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Delusions are deeply evidence-resistant. Patients with delusions are unmoved by evidence that is in direct conflict with the delusion, often responding to such evidence by offering obvious, and strange, confabulations. As a consequence, the standard view is that delusions are not evidence-responsive. This claim has been used as a key argumentative wedge in debates on the nature of delusions. Some have taken delusions to be beliefs and argued that this implies that belief is not constitutively evidence-responsive. Others hold fixed the evidenceresponsiveness of belief and take this to show that delusions cannot be beliefs. Against this common assumption, I appeal to a large range of empirical evidence to argue that delusions are evidence-responsive in the sense that subjects have the capacity to respond to evidence on their delusion in rationally permissible ways. The extreme evidence-resistance of delusions is a consequence of powerful masking factors on these capacities, such as strange perceptual experiences, motivational factors, and cognitive biases. This view makes room for holding both that belief is constitutively evidence-responsive and that delusions are beliefs, and it has important implications for the study and treatment of delusions.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-021-03070-2
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
Delusions as 'Wrong Beliefs': A Conceptual History.G. Berrios - 1991 - British Journal of Psychiatry 159:6-13.
Delusions as Performance Failures.Philip Gerrans - 2001 - Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 6 (3).

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Rational Dynamics of Implicit Thought.Brett Karlan - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Delusions, Acceptances, and Cognitive Feelings.Richard Dub - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (1):27-60.
What Makes a Belief Delusional?Lisa Bortolotti, Ema Sullivan-Bissett & Rachel Gunn - 2016 - In I. McCarthy, K. Sellevold & O. Smith (eds.), Cognitive Confusions. Legenda. pp. 37-51.
Defending Evidence-Resistant Beliefs.Nikolai Viedge - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
Bayesian Models, Delusional Beliefs, and Epistemic Possibilities.Matthew Parrott - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):271-296.
Bayesian Models, Delusional Beliefs, and Epistemic Possibilities.Matthew Parrott - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (1):axu036.
Shaking the Bedrock.Lisa Bortolotti - 2011 - Philosophy Psychiatry Psychology 18 (1):77-87.
Are the Deluded Believers? Are Philosophers Among the Deluded?George Graham - 2010 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 17 (4):337-339.


Added to PP index

Total views
292 ( #29,847 of 2,432,580 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
292 ( #1,503 of 2,432,580 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes