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  1. Gaslighting, Confabulation, and Epistemic Innocence.Andrew D. Spear - 2018 - Topoi:1-13.
    Recent literature on epistemic innocence develops the idea that a defective cognitive process may nevertheless merit special consideration insofar as it confers an epistemic benefit that would not otherwise be available. For example, confabulation may be epistemically innocent when it makes a subject more likely to form future true beliefs or helps her maintain a coherent self-concept. I consider the role of confabulation in typical cases of interpersonal gaslighting, and argue that confabulation will not be epistemically innocent in such cases (...)
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  • The Epistemic Innocence of Clinical Memory Distortions.Lisa Bortolotti & Ema Sullivan-Bissett - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (3):263-279.
    In some neuropsychological disorders memory distortions seemingly fill gaps in people’s knowledge about their past, where people’s self-image, history, and prospects are often enhanced. False beliefs about the past compromise both people’s capacity to construct a reliable autobiography and their trustworthiness as communicators. However, such beliefs contribute to people’s sense of competence and self-confidence, increasing psychological wellbeing. Here we consider both psychological benefits and epistemic costs, and argue that distorting the past is likely to also have epistemic benefits that cannot (...)
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  • Beyond Accuracy: Epistemic Flaws with Statistical Generalizations.Jessie Munton - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):228-240.
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  • Implicit Bias, Confabulation, and Epistemic Innocence.Ema Sullivan-Bissett - 2014 - Consciousness and Cognition 33:548-560.
    In this paper I explore the nature of confabulatory explanations of action guided by implicit bias. I claim that such explanations can have significant epistemic benefits in spite of their obvious epistemic costs, and that such benefits are not otherwise obtainable by the subject at the time at which the explanation is offered. I start by outlining the kinds of cases I have in mind, before characterising the phenomenon of confabulation by focusing on a few common features. Then I introduce (...)
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  • Self-Deception in and Out of Illness: Are Some Subjects Responsible for Their Delusions?Quinn Hiroshi Gibson - 2017 - Palgrave Communications 15 (3):1-12.
    This paper raises a slightly uncomfortable question: are some delusional subjects responsible for their delusions? This question is uncomfortable because we typically think that the answer is pretty clearly just ‘no’. However, we also accept that self-deception is paradigmatically intentional behavior for which the self-deceiver is prima facie blameworthy. Thus, if there is overlap between self-deception and delusion, this will put pressure on our initial answer. This paper argues that there is indeed such overlap by offering a novel philosophical account (...)
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  • Intensity of Experience: Maher’s Theory of Schizophrenic Delusion Revisited.Eisuke Sakakibara - 2019 - Neuroethics 12 (2):171-182.
    Maher proposed in 1974 that schizophrenic delusions are hypotheses formed to explain anomalous experiences. He stated that they are “rational, given the intensity of the experiences that they are developed to explain.” Two-factor theorists of delusion criticized Maher’s theory because 1) it does not explain why some patients with anomalous experiences do not develop delusions, and 2) adopting and adhering to delusional hypotheses is irrational, considering the totality of experiences and patients’ other beliefs. In this paper, the notion of the (...)
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  • Depressive Delusions.Magdalena Antrobus & Lisa Bortolotti - 2016 - Filosofia Unisinos 17 (2):192-201.
    In this paper we have two main aims. First, we present an account of mood-congruent delusions in depression (hereafter, depressive delusions). We propose that depressive delusions constitute acknowledgements of self-related beliefs acquired as a result of a negatively biased learning process. Second, we argue that depressive delusions have the potential for psychological and epistemic benefits despite their obvious epistemic and psychological costs. We suggest that depressive delusions play an important role in preserving a person’s overall coherence and narrative identity at (...)
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  • What Makes Delusions Pathological?Valentina Petrolini - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (4):1-22.
    Bortolotti argues that we cannot distinguish delusions from other irrational beliefs in virtue of their epistemic features alone. Although her arguments are convincing, her analysis leaves an important question unanswered: What makes delusions pathological? In this paper I set out to answer this question by arguing that the pathological character of delusions arises from an executive dysfunction in a subject’s ability to detect relevance in the environment. I further suggest that this dysfunction derives from an underlying emotional imbalance—one that leads (...)
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  • Rationality and its Contexts.Timothy Lane - 2016 - In Hung T. W. & Lane T. J. (eds.), Rationality: Constraints and Contexts. Elsevier. pp. 3-13.
    A cursory glance at the list of Nobel Laureates for Economics is sufficient to confirm Stanovich’s description of the project to evaluate human rationality as seminal. Herbert Simon, Reinhard Selten, John Nash, Daniel Kahneman, and others, were awarded their prizes less for their work in economics, per se, than for their work on rationality, as such. Although philosophical works have for millennia attempted to describe, explicate and evaluate individual and collective aspects of rationality, new impetus was brought to this endeavor (...)
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  • The Problem of Mental Action.Thomas Metzinger - 2017 - Philosophy and Predicitive Processing.
    In mental action there is no motor output to be controlled and no sensory input vector that could be manipulated by bodily movement. It is therefore unclear whether this specific target phenomenon can be accommodated under the predictive processing framework at all, or if the concept of “active inference” can be adapted to this highly relevant explanatory domain. This contribution puts the phenomenon of mental action into explicit focus by introducing a set of novel conceptual instruments and developing a first (...)
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  • Epistemic Innocence and the Production of False Memory Beliefs.Katherine Puddifoot & Lisa Bortolotti - 2018 - Philosophical Studies:1-26.
    Findings from the cognitive sciences suggest that the cognitive mechanisms responsible for some memory errors are adaptive, bringing benefits to the organism. In this paper we argue that the same cognitive mechanisms also bring a suite of significant epistemic benefits, increasing the chance of an agent obtaining epistemic goods like true belief and knowledge. This result provides a significant challenge to the folk conception of memory beliefs that are false, according to which they are a sign of cognitive frailty, indicating (...)
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  • Love as Delusion, Delusions of Love: Erotomania, Narcissism and Shame.Brendan D. Kelly - 2018 - Medical Humanities 44 (1):15-19.
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  • Epistemic Benefits of Elaborated and Systematized Delusions in Schizophrenia.Lisa Bortolotti - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):879-900.
    In this article I ask whether elaborated and systematized delusions emerging in the context of schizophrenia have the potential for epistemic innocence. Cognitions are epistemically innocent if they have significant epistemic benefits that could not be attained otherwise. In particular, I propose that a cognition is epistemically innocent if it delivers some significant epistemic benefit to a given agent at a given time, and if alternative cognitions delivering the same epistemic benefit are unavailable to that agent at that time. Elaborated (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility and Mental Illness: A Call for Nuance.Matt King & Joshua May - 2018 - Neuroethics 11 (1):11-22.
    Does having a mental disorder, in general, affect whether someone is morally responsible for an action? Many people seem to think so, holding that mental disorders nearly always mitigate responsibility. Against this Naïve view, we argue for a Nuanced account. The problem is not just that different theories of responsibility yield different verdicts about particular cases. Even when all reasonable theories agree about what's relevant to responsibility, the ways mental illness can affect behavior are so varied that a more nuanced (...)
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  • Delusions: Between Phenomenology and Prediction.Przemysław Nowakowski - 2014 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies (3/2014):11-16.
    One of the leading and central figures in research on delusions, Max Coltheart, presents and summarises his heretofore work in a short text. Miyazono and Bortolotti present an interesting argument aimed at the charges against the doxastic concept of delusions. Adams, Brown and Friston showcase a predictive-Bayesian concept of delusions. Young criticizes the current changes in the two-factor account of delusions and argues that the role of experience should not be dismissed within it. Kapusta presents an interesting, phenomenological approach to (...)
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  • Filosofía de la Mente y Psiquiatría Alcances y Límites de Una Perspectiva Naturalista Para El Estudio de Los Delirios.Emilia Vilatta - 2017 - Co-herencia 14 (27):159-180.
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  • Confabulating as Unreliable Imagining: In Defence of the Simulationist Account of Unsuccessful Remembering.Kourken Michaelian - forthcoming - Topoi:1-16.
    This paper responds to Bernecker’s attack on Michaelian’s simulationist account of confabulation, as well as his defence of the causalist account of confabulation :432–447, 2016a) against Michaelian’s attack on it. The paper first argues that the simulationist account survives Bernecker’s attack, which takes the form of arguments from the possibility of unjustified memory and justified confabulation, unscathed. It then concedes that Bernecker’s defence of the causalist account against Michaelian’s attack, which takes the form of arguments from the possibility of veridical (...)
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  • Can Anosognosia for Hemiplegia Be Explained as Motivated Self-Deception?Andrew C. Sims - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (2):337-353.
    Anosognosia for hemiplegia is the denial of neurologically-caused paralysis, and it often co-occurs with a number of distortions of belief and emotion such as somatoparaphrenia and an exaggeration of negative affect towards minor health complaints. The salience of these latter symptoms led early investigators to propose explanations of AHP which construed it as a process of motivated self-deception against the overwhelming anxiety and depression that knowledge of deficit would otherwise cause, and which was observed in hemiplegic patients without the anosognosia. (...)
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  • Dissolving the Epistemic/Ethical Dilemma Over Implicit Bias.Katherine Puddifoot - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup1):73-93.
    It has been argued that humans can face an ethical/epistemic dilemma over the automatic stereotyping involved in implicit bias: ethical demands require that we consistently treat people equally, as equally likely to possess certain traits, but if our aim is knowledge or understanding our responses should reflect social inequalities meaning that members of certain social groups are statistically more likely than others to possess particular features. I use psychological research to argue that often the best choice from the epistemic perspective (...)
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  • Epistemic Instrumentalism and the Too Few Reasons Objection.Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):337-355.
    According to epistemic instrumentalism, epistemic normativity arises from and depends on facts about our ends. On that view, a consideration C is an epistemic reason for a subject S to Φ only if Φ-ing would promote an end that S has. However, according to the Too Few Epistemic Reasons objection, this cannot be correct since there are cases in which, intuitively, C is an epistemic reason for S to Φ even though Φ-ing would not promote any of S’s ends. After (...)
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  • Epistemic and Psychological Benefits of Depression.Magdalena Anna Antrobus - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    In this thesis I propose a new way of understanding depressive illness as not exclusively harmful, but as related to particular, empirically evidenced, epistemic and pragmatic benefits for the subject, alongside the associated costs. For each of the benefits considered, I provide and concisely analyse the empirical evidence both in its favour and against it, suggest ways in which these benefits could apply in the circumstances presented, discuss some outstanding problems for that application as stated, and describe potential implications. The (...)
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  • Schizophrenia and the Place of Egodystonic States in the Aetiology of Thought Insertion.Pablo López-Silva - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (3):577-594.
    Despite the diagnostic relevance of thought insertion for disorders such as schizophrenia, the debates about its aetiology are far from resolved. This paper claims that in paying exclusive attention to the perceptual and cognitive impairments leading to delusional experiences in general, current deficit approaches overlook the role that affective disturbances might play in giving rise to cases of thought insertion. In the context of psychosis, affective impairments are often characterized as a consequence of the stress and anxiety caused by delusional (...)
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  • The Ethics of Delusional Belief.Lisa Bortolotti & Kengo Miyazono - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (2):275-296.
    In this paper we address the ethics of adopting delusional beliefs and we apply consequentialist and deontological considerations to the epistemic evaluation of delusions. Delusions are characterised by their epistemic shortcomings and they are often defined as false and irrational beliefs. Despite this, when agents are overwhelmed by negative emotions due to the effects of trauma or previous adversities, or when they are subject to anxiety and stress as a result of hypersalient experience, the adoption of a delusional belief can (...)
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  • Delusions, Harmful Dysfunctions, and Treatable Conditions.Peter Clutton & Stephen Gadsby - 2018 - Neuroethics 11 (2):167-181.
    It has recently been suggested that delusions be conceived of as symptoms on the harmful dysfunction account of disorder: delusions sometimes arise from dysfunction, but can also arise through normal cognition. Much attention has thus been payed to the question of how we can determine whether a delusion arises from dysfunction as opposed to normal cognition. In this paper, we consider another question, one that remains under-explored: which delusions warrant treatment? On the harmful dysfunction account, this question dissociates from the (...)
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  • The Epistemic Innocence of Psychedelic States.Chris Letheby - 2016 - Consciousness and Cognition 39:28-37.
    One recent development in epistemology, the philosophical study of knowledge, is the notion of ‘epistemic innocence’ introduced by Bortolotti and colleagues. This concept expresses the idea that certain suboptimal cognitive processes may nonetheless have epistemic (knowledge-related) benefits. The idea that delusion or confabulation may have psychological benefits is familiar enough. What is novel and interesting is the idea that such conditions may also yield significant and otherwise unavailable epistemic benefits. I apply the notion of epistemic innocence to research on the (...)
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  • Monothematic Delusion: A Case of Innocence From Experience.Ema Sullivan-Bissett - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (6):920-947.
    ABSTRACTEmpiricists about monothematic delusion formation agree that anomalous experience is a factor in the formation of these attitudes, but disagree markedly on which further factors need to be specified. I argue that epistemic innocence may be a unifying feature of monothematic delusions, insofar as a judgment of epistemic innocence to this class of attitudes is one that opposing empiricist accounts can make. The notion of epistemic innocence allows us to tell a richer story when investigating the epistemic status of monothematic (...)
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