Delusional realities

Shaun Gallagher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


Recent accounts of delusions involve either top-down or bottom-up, or some hybrid version of theories that rely on internalist, brain-based, or purely belief-based approaches. My intent in this chapter is to explore an alternative explanatory framework, to raise some questions that lead in a different, externalist, and existentialist direction, and to provide a broader account that treats other factors – body, affect, social, and environmental factors – as important in the constitution of delusional realities. This account makes use of the concept of multiple realities, deriving from William James and developed by Alfred Schutz. The account does not provide a causal explanation of delusions, but aims to work out a more adequate characterization of delusions that would provide a framework for
any such explanation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience
Subtitle of host publicationPhilosophical Perspectives
EditorsMatthew Broome, Lisa Bortolotti
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)978-0-19-923803-3
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2009

Publication series

NameInternational Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry
PublisherOxford University Press


  • delusions
  • multiple realities
  • phenomenology
  • psychiatry


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