Date of Award

8-11-2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Neil Van Leeuwen

Second Advisor

Dan Weiskopf

Abstract

The standard position in psychiatry maintains that delusions are beliefs. However, the features of delusions often diverge from those typically associated with belief. This discrepancy has given rise to what I refer to as the doxastic status debate, which concerns whether delusions are best characterized as “beliefs.” Despite efforts, there has been little progress in settling this debate. I argue that the debate has been stymied because it’s largely a verbal dispute (Chalmers, 2011). I then attempt to advance the debate into substantive territory by putting forward the hetero-dynamic property cluster (HDPC) model. According to the HDPC model, delusions are mental states characterized by an odd and unstable cluster of features, which, when manifested, gives delusions the appearance of straddling the line between two distinct types of attitudes.

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