Monothematic delusion: A case of innocence from experience

Philosophical Psychology 31 (6):920-947 (2018)
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Abstract

ABSTRACTEmpiricists about monothematic delusion formation agree that anomalous experience is a factor in the formation of these attitudes, but disagree markedly on which further factors need to be specified. I argue that epistemic innocence may be a unifying feature of monothematic delusions, insofar as a judgment of epistemic innocence to this class of attitudes is one that opposing empiricist accounts can make. The notion of epistemic innocence allows us to tell a richer story when investigating the epistemic status of monothematic delusions, one which resists the trade-off view of pragmatic benefits and epistemic costs. Though monothematic delusions are often characterized by appeal to their epistemic costs, they can play a positive epistemic role, and this is a surprising conclusion on which, so I argue, all empiricists can agree. Thus, I show that all empiricists have the notion of epistemic innocence at their disposal.

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Ema Sullivan-Bissett
University of Birmingham

Citations of this work

Delusion.Lisa Bortolotti - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Against a second factor.Ema Sullivan-Bissett - 2022 - Asian Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):1-10.
Delusions and the Predictive Mind.Bongiorno Federico & Corlett Philip R. - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

The Epistemic Innocence of Motivated Delusions.Lisa Bortolotti - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition (33):490-499.
The truth Norm of belief.Conor Mchugh - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (1):8-30.
Abductive inference and delusional belief.Max Coltheart, Peter Menzies & John Sutton - 2010 - Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 15 (1):261-287.
Monothematic delusions: Towards a two-factor account.Martin Davies, Max Coltheart, Robyn Langdon & Nora Breen - 2001 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 8 (2-3):133-58.
Epistemic Benefits of Elaborated and Systematized Delusions in Schizophrenia.Lisa Bortolotti - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):879-900.

View all 29 references / Add more references