Delusional realities

Shaun Gallagher

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

Delusional realities

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  • Psychiatry
  • Clinical Neuroscience


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Recent accounts of delusions involve either top-down or bottom-up, or some hybrid version of theories that rely on internalist, brain-based, or purely belief-based approaches. My intent in this chapter is to explore an alternative explanatory framework, to raise some questions that lead in a different, externalist, and existentialist direction, and to provide a broader account that treats other factors – body, affect, social, and environmental factors – as important in the constitution of delusional realities. This account makes use of the concept of multiple realities, deriving from William James and developed by Alfred Schutz. The account does not provide a causal explanation of delusions, but aims to work out a more adequate characterization of delusions that would provide a framework for any such explanation.

Chapter.  11510 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry ; Clinical Neuroscience

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