Philosophical Psychology 22 (6):669 – 686 (2009)

Marga Reimer
University of Arizona
In his classic paper, “Delusional thinking and perceptual disorder,” Brendan Maher (1974) argues that psychiatric delusions are hypotheses designed to explain anomalous experiences, and are “developed through the operation of normal cognitive processes.” Consider, for instance, the Capgras delusion. Patients suffering from this particular delusion believe that someone close to them—such as a spouse, a sibling, a parent, or a child—has been replaced by an impostor: by someone who bears a striking resemblance to the “original” and who (for reasons unknown) is intent on passing herself off as that individual. On Maher's view, the “Impostor Hypothesis” is the response of a rational agent to the anomalous experience it is invoked to explain. Recently, a number of philosophers have argued that Maher's analysis of delusion doesn't work when applied to the Capgras delusion. In this paper, I defend Maher's analysis against these arguments. However, my aim is not merely to defend Maher's analysis, but also to draw attention to some of the methodological problems that have led to its hasty dismissal
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DOI 10.1080/09515080903409945
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References found in this work BETA

Monothematic Delusions: Towards a Two-Factor Account.Martin Davies, Max Coltheart, Robyn Langdon & N. Breen - 2001 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 8 (2-3):133-58.
Rationality, Meaning, and the Analysis of Delusion.J. Campbell - 2001 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 8 (2-3):89-100.
Monothematic Delusions: Towards a Two-Factor Account.Martin Davies, Max Coltheart, Robyn Langdon & Nora Breen - 2001 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 8 (2):133-158.
Cognitive Neuropsychology and the Philosophy of Mind.Tony Stone & Martin Davies - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (4):589-622.

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Citations of this work BETA

Delusions, Dreams, and the Nature of Identification.Sam Wilkinson - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (2):203-226.
A Davidsonian Perspective on Psychiatric Delusions.Marga Reimer - 2011 - Philosophical Psychology 24 (5):659 - 677.
A Mental Files Approach to Delusional Misidentification.Sam Wilkinson - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (2):389-404.
The Status of Delusion in the Light of Marcu's "Revisionary Proposals".Sam Wilkinson - 2013 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 28 (3):421-436.
The Status of Delusion in the Light of Marcus’s Revisionary Proposals.Sam Wilkinson - 2013 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 28 (3):421-436.

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