Delusion as a natural kind

Richard Samuels

in Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780199238033
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754562 | DOI:

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry

Delusion as a natural kind

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This chapter clarifies and defends what I call the NK thesis: the thesis that delusions constitute a natural kind. In doing so, I spell out the relevant notion of a natural kind and show why the most prominent objections to the NK thesis are unsatisfactory. In addition, I present some prima facie reasons for adopting the NK thesis as a working hypothesis, and argue that careful reflection on the standard objections to the thesis provides some insight into the sort of natural kind that delusions constitute. Roughly put: if the NK thesis is true, then we have reason to suppose that delusions constitute a generic, multiply realized, cognitive kind.

Chapter.  16051 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry ; Clinical Neuroscience

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