Medicine Studies 3 (4):233-248 (2012)

This paper explores the possibility of understanding schizophrenic delusion through the role of a primary alteration of subjective experience. Two approaches are contrasted: the first defines schizophrenic delusion as a primary symptom resisting any attempt to understand, whereas the second describes delusion as a secondary symptom, to be understood as a rational reaction of the self. The paper discusses the possibility of applying this second approach to schizophrenic delusion. This leads us to raise the issue of the specificity of psychotic experiences and to wonder whether some accounts of delusion arising in neurological disorders can be generalized into psychotic delusion. A few points are addressed, demanding clarification and the rephrasing of some assumptions implied by the model of a secondary delusion. These points call for an interaction between clinical descriptions, neurocognitive explorations and a philosophical analysis of psychotic subjective experiences.
Keywords Delusion  Schizophrenia  Phenomenology  Capgras delusion  Delusional primary experience
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DOI 10.1007/s12376-012-0078-8
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On Certainty (Ed. Anscombe and von Wright).Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1969 - New York and London: Harper Torchbooks.
General Psychopathology.Karl Jaspers - 1913 - Johns Hopkins University Press.

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