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Delusion and belief: a cognitive phenomenological defence of doxasticism

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posted on 2022-03-28, 10:07 authored by Peter Clutton
In this thesis I defend the doxastic conceptions of delusions : delusions are beliefs. This is the view of many scientific theories of delusions, which is a point in its favour. But a number of philosophers have argued that delusions cannot be beliefs because they fail the necessary conditions of belief. For example, delusional patients often do not act in accordance with their delusions, a criterion usually considered central to belief. In response to these claims, two influential defences of doxasticism have been put forward, one based on the interpretationist theory of beliefs, the other based on the phenomenal disposition theory. I argue that both defences have problematic anti-realist tendencies. These tendencies are problematic because, prima facie, scientific theories of delusions are staunchly realist about delusions and beliefs. As such, whatever the current doxastic defences supposedly defend, it does not look all that much like robust scientific doxasticism about delusions. For this reason, I put forward a defence of doxasticism which is realist in nature and fits with the general scientific views of delusions and beliefs. I call it the cognitive phenomenological defence of doxasticism.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Background -- Chapter 2. The interpretationist defence of doxasticism -- Chapter 3. The dispositional defence of doxasticism -- Chapter 4. The cognitive phenomenological defence of doxasticism -- Conclusion.


Bibliography: pages 85-90 Theoretical thesis.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy

Department, Centre or School

Department of Philosophy

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Colin Klein


Copyright Peter Clutton 2015. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (vii, 90 pages)

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