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Psychosis and the phenomenology of logic

Time Wednesday 19 February, 2020 at 13:15 - 15:00
Place HD108

The Research Seminar Series in Philosophy invites you to a seminar with Sofia Jeppsson, "Psychosis and the phenomenology of logic".

Abstract: I will argue that the seemingly bizarre deliberations of psychotic people can be intelligible. Furthermore, I argue that we have a strong pro tanto obligation to assume intelligibility unless the person herself tells us otherwise. Assuming that someone else is unintelligible makes real communication impossible regardless of other obstacles, and can easily lead to disrespectful and even harmful treatment. Historically, psychotic disorders have been defined as unintelligible; this was supposedly the main difference between psychosis and neurosis. Lately, researchers in psychology or psychiatry as well as philosophers of psychiatry have stressed how many seemingly bizarre behaviours and beliefs make sense in light of highly unusual experiences (e.g., hallucinations and illusions). Nevertheless, psychotic people sometimes deliberate and draw conclusions in ways that seem bizarre, even given unusual experiences that give rise to unusual beliefs. I will argue that such deliberations and inferences can be intelligible in a broad sense as well, if we take into account how much all of us trust our feeling for logic (I use "logic" in a broad sense, including “informal logic” besides deduction) rather than consciously following logical rules. Seemingly bizarre deliberations can be explained by a changed logic feeling, in a way similar to how seemingly bizarre beliefs and behaviours can be explained by a change in how the agent experiences the world.

Staff photo Sofia Jeppsson
Sofia Jeppsson
Associate professor
Read about Sofia Jeppsson
Pär Sundström
Read about Pär Sundström