Lisa Bortolotti
University of Birmingham
After briefly reviewing some of the empirical and philosophical literature suggesting that there may be an adaptive role for delusion formation, we discuss the results of a recent study consisting of in-depth interviews with people experiencing delusions. We analyse three such cases in terms of the circumstances preceding the development of the delusion; the effects of the development of the delusion on the person’s situation; and the potential protective nature of the delusional belief as seen from the first-person perspective. We argue that the development of the delusional belief can play a short-term protective function and we reflect on the implications that this might have for our understanding of psychotic symptoms, for the stigma associated with mental health issues, and for treatment options.
Keywords delusion  phenomenology
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Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1007/s11097-017-9555-6
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References found in this work BETA

Epistemic Benefits of Elaborated and Systematized Delusions in Schizophrenia.Lisa Bortolotti - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):879-900.
Spiritual Experience and Psychopathology.K. W. M. Fulford & Mike Jackson - 1997 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 4 (1):41-65.

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Citations of this work BETA

Delusions in the Two-Factor Theory: Pathological or Adaptive?Eugenia Lancellotta & Lisa Bortolotti - 2020 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 16 (2):37-57.
Delusion.Lisa Bortolotti - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Doctors Without ‘Disorders’.Lisa Bortolotti - 2020 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 94 (1):163-184.

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