Bayesian Models, Delusional Beliefs, and Epistemic Possibilities


Authors
Matthew Parrott
University of Birmingham
Abstract
The Capgras delusion is a condition in which a person believes that an imposter has replaced some close friend or relative. Recent theorists have appealed to Bayesianism to help explain both why a subject with the Capgras delusion adopts this delusional belief and why it persists despite counter-evidence. The Bayesian approach is useful for addressing these questions; however, the main proposal of this essay is that Capgras subjects also have a delusional conception of epistemic possibility, more specifically, they think more things are possible, given what is known, than non-delusional subjects do. I argue that this is a central way in which their thinking departs from ordinary cognition and that it cannot be characterized in Bayesian terms. Thus, in order to fully understand the cognitive processing involved in the Capgras delusion, we must move beyond Bayesianism. 1 The Simple Bayesian Model2 Anomalous Evidence and the Capgras Delusion3 Impaired Reasoning4 Setting Priors5 Epistemic Modality6 Delusions of Possibility7 Delusions of Possibility in Different Contexts8 How Many Factors?
Keywords Delusion  Bayesian Modeling  Epistemic Possibility
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axu036
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References found in this work BETA

Relativism and Disagreement.John MacFarlane - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 132 (1):17-31.
Epistemic Modals, Relativism and Assertion.Andy Egan - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (1):1--22.
Reason and the Grain of Belief.Scott Sturgeon - 2008 - Noûs 42 (1):139–165.
Epistemic Possibilities.Keith DeRose - 1991 - Philosophical Review 100 (4):581-605.

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Citations of this work BETA

Transparent Delusion.Vladimir Krstić - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (1):183-201.
Delusional Predictions and Explanations.Matthew Parrott - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz003.

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