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Philosophy 2044G - Feb. 3.docx

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Philosophy 2043F/G
Louis Charland

Philosophy 2044G Monday February 3 Outline: I. Midterm II. Essay III. Delusions Midterm • Essay questions • The professor will post a study guide on the course website Essay • There is an ‘essay topics’ article associated with each of the readings • Your essay should primarily be focused on the article o What is going on in the article? o Do you agree/disagree? • You don’t need to do any outside reading – it all comes from the article (and from class lectures and films) Delusions • Delusions are often associated with disorders (such as schizophrenia) o Many parts of psychiatry are debated – some think that schizophrenia may be made up of several different disorders o It is not easy to define something in psychiatry and determine what terms mean • When you see someone with delusional thoughts (eg. someone you may encounter on the street) you know it, but it is still very hard to define • Delusion is a word that is found in both French and English • Delusions are sometimes confused with delirium (eg. someone foaming at the mouth, raging) • Delusion is a more intellectual, cognitive construct o When you think more critically about the word, a ‘delusion’ is not a simple defining term o ‘Delusion’ is a theoretical term that only makes sense in the context of other terms o Delusion is a theoretical term just like positron, electron, etc… • In the study of an intellectual disorder, delusions are one of the main symptoms • History – we used to say “ideas”, and now we classify ideas as “beliefs” o Like ideas, beliefs are mental states o You can’t see a mental state – you can see a picture of a brain that shows a mental state, someone can express a mental state by their behaviour, but you can’t see it o Delusions are a certain type of mental state, and in modern times, we call them “beliefs” o We can’t see inside people’s minds and see a delusion – we infer from what people say and how they behave what mental state they are in • When someone expresses a belief (eg. “I am Napoleon”, “I am the sun”), we would classify their mental symptoms as a delusion o From behaviour, you can infer the mental state (eg. if an animal is running, you may infer that they are running to get somewhere or get away from something) Video Clips: Delusions (Newcastle University) • Delusions are false beliefs out of line with the person’s religious and cultural background • A man believes he is the Prime Minister’s brother and the government takes his thoughts away before he is about to voice them • Nihilistic Delusions – mood congruent delusions with feelings of guilt o Example: A man believes that he is dead, is in a very depressed state with feelings of hopelessness  He has Cotard syndrome – he thinks that his
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