Davidsonian holism in recent philosophy of psychiatry

Marga Reimer

in Donald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the Mental

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199697519
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191742316 | DOI:
Davidsonian holism in recent philosophy of psychiatry

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The views of Davidson are being talked about, with increasing frequency, in the philosophy of psychiatry literature. His propositional attitude holism, in particular, has been much discussed in recent philosophical work on psychiatric delusions. The consensus is clear: Davidsonian holism, according to which rationality is constitutive of thought, is undermined by psychiatric delusions. The present chapter is an attempt to cast doubt on this consensus. It is argued that, properly interpreted, Davidsonian holism is quite compatible with the psychiatric phenomena invoked to discredit it. Appreciating this compatibility requires careful attention to the irrationality characteristic of psychiatric delusions.

Keywords: Davidson; holism; propositional attitudes; rationality, irrationality; psychiatric delusions

Chapter.  9019 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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