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Philosophy 2044G - Feb. 5.docx

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Philosophy 2043F/G
Louis Charland

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Philosophy 2044G Wednesday February 5 Barrios Article Received View of Delusions – Form and Content • The definition in the DSM glossary that we looked at last class • A delusion is a false belief with several characteristics • Delusions can take different forms o eg. a delusion of jealousy, persecutory delusions, controlling delusions… • The type of delusion can be distinguished from the content of the delusion o eg. a husband and wife can both have delusions of jealousy (a form), but the husband thinks his wife is cheating on him and the wife thinks her husband is cheating on her (different content) o Different people with the same form of a delusion will have different contents • The term ‘delusion’ is a theoretical construct – you can’t point to it in the brain • The belief is held despite the fact that there is no evidence o If you can talk someone out of the belief by showing them proof, it is not a delusion (it is just a falsely held belief) • In our culture, many people value reason (that is what separates humans from animals), sometimes over emotion o There is a debate in Western thought over what is more important – reason or emotion Historical Origins of Delusions • Essay on Human Understanding (1698) by John Locke o John Locke was a medical doctor, scientist, and philosopher o Definition of madness:  Mad men had not lost the faculty of reasoning (they could still reason, they were still human) • On the other hand, idiots have lost the ability to reason  They have joined ideas together wrongly and mistaken them for truths (they argue rationally, but start on the wrong premise)  They mistake their ‘fancies’ (the imagination) for real truths, but then argue correctly (there is real reasoning) • eg. You may believe you are the King of France (incorrect), but then you think that everyone should respect and obey you (based on correct reasoning)  This was one of the first
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