Belief and pathology of self-awareness: A phenomenological contribution to the classification of delusions

Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (10-11):148-161 (2004)
Delusions are usually defined as false beliefs about the state of affairs in the public world. Taking this premise as unquestionable, the debate in cognitive science tends to oscillate between the so-called 'rationalist approach'- proposing some breakdown in the central intellective modules embodying human rationality - and the 'empiricist approach' - proposing a primary peripheral deficit , followed by explanatory efforts in the form of delusions. In this article the foundational assumption about delusion is questioned. Especially in the case of schizophrenia, delusions are not epistemic statements about external world but metaphorical reports of altered structure of experiencing . Delusions as epistemic statements or beliefs occur paradigmatically in delusional disorder . These two types of delusions are compared from a primarily phenomenological stance
Keywords Belief  Delusion  Metaphysics  Pathology  Self-awareness
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