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Rationality and Schizophrenic Delusion

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Abstract:

The theory of rationality has traditionally been concerned with the investigation of the norms of rational thought and behaviour, and with the reasoning pro-cedures that satisfy them. As a consequence, the investigation of irrationality has largely been restricted to the behaviour or thought that violates these norms. There are, how-ever, other forms of irrationality. Here we propose that the delusions that occur in schizophrenia constitute a paradigm of irrationality. We examine a leading theory of schizophrenic delusion and propose that some delusions can be traced to a violation of a condition on thought we call egocentricity. We argue that the violation of egocen-tricity leads to irrational states that cannot be explained by the traditional categories of irrationality and conclude, therefore, that these states belong in a new branch of the theory of irrationality, that of experiential irrationality.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0017.00127

Affiliations: 1: McGill University, Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2: Institute of Advanced Studies, Australian National University

Publication date: March 1, 2000

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