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The Measure of MadnessPhilosophy of Mind, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Delusional Thought$
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Philip Gerrans

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027557

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027557.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

The Measure of Madness

The Measure of Madness

(p.1) 1 The Measure of Madness
The Measure of Madness

Philip Gerrans

The MIT Press

This chapter examines how psychological- and phenomenological-level facts that give delusion its clinical profile can be accounted for through facts identified and explained by disciplines operating at levels such as molecular neurobiology or neuroanatomy. It agrees with the importance of collecting and collating correlations between neural, phenomenological, and cognitive properties of the delusional mind, but argues that we need a theoretical approach that fits all this evidence together. It first describes—and rejects—two versions of the autonomy thesis: the idea that neurobiological and phenomenological explanations are theoretically insulated from each other. Versions of this autonomy thesis come from neuroscience, philosophy, and phenomenology and have a venerable history dating from asylum psychiatry of the nineteenth century. The chapter considers neurobiological eliminativism and meaning rationalism and contends that they rest on implausible notions of the aim and scope of psychiatric explanation.

Keywords:   delusion, molecular neurobiology, neuroanatomy, autonomy thesis, neuroscience, philosophy, phenomenology, psychiatry, neurobiological eliminativism, meaning rationalism

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