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Delusion, a philosophical conceptualisation from original empirical work

[Speaker] Gunn, Rachel R:1
1:University of Birmingham (United Kingdom)

Delusions are generally thought to be a heterogeneous phenomenon and their causal history is poorly understood. A more fine-grained approach to the understanding of the experience of someone described as having delusions has implications for identifying sub-groups or kinds of delusion. This will then enable a diversified approach to research and therapeutic intervention. Using first-person descriptions from original research with people who have clinically significant delusions, I argue that some delusions should not be thought of in terms of the standard definition of delusion. I also suggest that using the language of belief and conviction may prevent us from seeing the nature of the problem. Whilst we might come to understand that someone is ill based on her reporting apparent beliefs held with conviction in the face of counter evidence, the pathology lies in her direct perceptual experience.
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