We are very grateful to Professor Martin Davies for comments on a previous version of this paper, and for extensive comments from the anonymous referees.
Delusions and Brain Injury: The Philosophy and Psychology of Belief
Article first published online: 4 MAY 2007
Mind & Language
Volume 12, Issue 3-4, pages 327–364, September 1997
How to Cite
STONE, T. and YOUNG, A. W. (1997), Delusions and Brain Injury: The Philosophy and Psychology of Belief. Mind & Language, 12: 327–364. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.1997.tb00077.x
- Issue published online: 4 MAY 2007
- Article first published online: 4 MAY 2007
Abstract: Circumscribed delusional beliefs can follow brain injury. We suggest that these involve anomalous perceptual experiences created by a deficit to the person's perceptual system, and misinterpretation of these experiences due to biased reasoning. We use the Capgras delusion (the claim that one or more of one's close relatives has been replaced by an exact replica or impostor) to illustrate this argument. Our account maintains that people voicing this delusion suffer an impairment that leads to faces being perceived as drained of their normal affective significance, and an additional reasoning bias that leads them to put greater weight on forming beliefs that are observationally adequate rather than beliefs that are a conservative extension of their existing stock. We show how this position can integrate issues involved in the philosophy and psychology of belief, and examine the scope for mutually beneficial interaction.