Transparent Delusion

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2 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, I examine a kind of delusion in which the patients judge that their occurrent thoughts are false and try to abandon them precisely because they are false, but fail to do so. I call this delusion transparent, since it is transparent to the sufferer that their thought is false. In explaining this phenomenon, I defend a particular two-factor theory of delusion that takes the proper integration of relevant reasoning processes as vital for thought-evaluation. On this proposal, which is a refinement of Gerrans’s (2014) account of delusion as unsupervised by decontextualized processing, I can have all my reasoning processes working reliably and thus judge that my delusion is false but, if I cannot use their outputs when revising the thought itself, the delusion will persist. I also sketch how this framework explains some interesting cases of failed belief-revision in the general population in which people judge that ~p but nonetheless continue to believe that p.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-201
Number of pages19
JournalReview of Philosophy and Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Philosophy


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