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Delusions and Other Irrational Beliefs (International Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry) (International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry) Paperback – 11 Jan 2010
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Bortolotti's book is an important contribution to our understanding of the nature of beliefs and hence of our understanding of delusions. It shows that psychiatry has a lot to learn from philosophy and no doubt philosophy too can only benefit from dialogue with psychiatrists. There are many original insights in this book. (Femi Oyebode, The British Journal of Psychiatry)
This books offers a significant and successful example of the emerging 'new' analytic philosophy of psychiatry. Methodologically, it exemplifies a fruitful two-way interaction between philosophy and empirical investigation. Empirical results from cognitive sciences and clinical research are used to constrain philosophical assumptions about beliefs and delusions. Rigorous philosophical argumentation is employed to clarify and adjudicate theoretical interpretations of empirical data concerning delusions. This work is surely an obligatory reading for those seriously interested in delusions, beliefs and, more generally, the application of an empirically informed philosophy of mind to psychiatry. (Luca Malatesti, Journal of Applied Philosophy)
Much interesting recent material about delusions has come to us - from philosophers of mind and psychology, from experimental and cognitive psychologists, and from many whose work straddles, and blurs, such disciplinary boundaries. Lisa Bortolotti's book Delusions and Other Irrational Beliefs stands out among this material for its clarity, acumen, freshness, and sweep. It is well written and organized, carefully argued, independent and original in its perspective, and fair-minded in its appraisals. It redirects theoretical attention from one, widely accepted paradigm (delusions as irrational beliefs), to another (delusions as disturbances of self knowledge and cognitive authority). And finally, it has the merit of providing lengthy clinical case material sufficient to illustrate the theoretical points made. (Jennifer Radden, Metapsychology Online)
...this is probably one of the best texts of the psychiatry-philosophy blend out there. So if you're interested in the weird and wonderful workings of the mind and have always fancied yourself as an amateur Plato, give it a go. (University of Sheffield Medical School Magazine)
Delusions has great merit, and has really driven the new interdisciplinary research in philosophy of psychiatry. It is a model contribution to this literature for philosophically minded clinicians and clinically minded philosophers, as well as philosophers of mind and naturalistic epistemologists concerned with conditions on belief ascription. (The Philosophical Quarterly)
About the Author
Lisa Bortolotti is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Birmingham (UK). Her main research interests are in the philosophy of the cognitive sciences and in the intersection between philosophy of mind and ethics. She has published a number of articles on belief ascription, rationality and delusions in journals such as Mind & Language and Philosophical Psychology. She is the author of An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science for Polity Press, the editor of Philosophy and Happiness for Palgrave and the co-editor (with M.R. Broome) of Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience: Philosophical Perspectives for Oxford University Press.
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