What Makes Delusions Pathological?

Philosophical Psychology 30 (4):1-22 (2017)

Authors
Valentina Petrolini
University of Cincinnati
Abstract
Bortolotti argues that we cannot distinguish delusions from other irrational beliefs in virtue of their epistemic features alone. Although her arguments are convincing, her analysis leaves an important question unanswered: What makes delusions pathological? In this paper I set out to answer this question by arguing that the pathological character of delusions arises from an executive dysfunction in a subject’s ability to detect relevance in the environment. I further suggest that this dysfunction derives from an underlying emotional imbalance—one that leads delusional subjects to regard some contextual elements as deeply puzzling or highly significant.
Keywords delusions  Bortolotti  emotions  executive functions
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DOI 10.1080/09515089.2017.1288899
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References found in this work BETA

How Do Emotion and Motivation Direct Executive Control?Luiz Pessoa - 2009 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13 (4):160-166.
The Epistemic Innocence of Motivated Delusions.Lisa Bortolotti - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition (33):490-499.
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.

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