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Type: Journal article
Title: A one-stage explanation of the Cotard delusion
Author: Gerrans, P.
Citation: Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology, 2002; 9(1):47-53
Publisher: Journals Publishing Division, John Hopkins University Press
Issue Date: 2002
ISSN: 1071-6076
Statement of
Philip Gerrans
Abstract: Cognitive neuropsychiatry (CN) is the explanation of psychiatric disorder by the methods of cognitive neuropsychology. Within CN there are, broadly speaking, two approaches to delusion. The first uses a one-stage model, in which delusions are explained as rationalizations of anomalous experiences via reasoning strategies that are not, in themselves, abnormal. Two-stage models invoke additional hypotheses about abnormalities of reasoning. In this paper, I examine what appears to be a very strong argument, developed within CN, in favor of a two-stage explanation of the difference in content between the Capgras and Cotard delusions. That explanation treats them as alternative rationalizations of essentially the same phenomenology. I show, however, that once we distinguish the phenomenology (and the neuroetiology), a one-stage model is adequate. In the final section I make some more general remarks on the one- and two-stage models.
Keywords: Cotard delusion
Capgras delusion
cognitive neuropsychology
cognitive neuropsychiatry
face processing
Rights: © 2003 by The Johns Hopkins University Press
DOI: 10.1353/ppp.2003.0007
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Philosophy publications

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