Is the impostor hypothesis really so preposterous? Understanding the capgras experience

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

Authors
Marga Reimer
University of Arizona
Abstract
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from this particular delusion believe that someone close to them—such as a spouse, a sibling, a parent, or a child—has been replaced by an impostor: by someone who bears a striking resemblance to the “original” and who (for reasons unknown) is intent on passing herself off as that individual.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
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515080903409945
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,330
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

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.
Monothematic Delusions: Towards a Two-Factor Account.Martin Davies, Max Coltheart, Robyn Langdon & Nora Breen - 2001 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 8 (2):133-158.
Rationality, Meaning, and the Analysis of Delusion.J. Campbell - 2001 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 8 (2-3):89-100.
Capgras Delusion: A Window on Face Recognition.Hadyn D. Ellis & Michael B. Lewis - 2001 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 5 (4):149-156.

View all 13 references / Add more references

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 Marcus’s Revisionary Proposals.Sam Wilkinson - 2013 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 28 (3):421-436.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-05-07

Total views
66 ( #132,850 of 2,286,083 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #157,434 of 2,286,083 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature