1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Delusion

Edited By Ema Sullivan-Bissett Copyright 2025
    600 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Delusions play an important and fascinating role in philosophy and are a particularly fertile area of study in recent years, spanning philosophy of mind and psychology, epistemology, ethics, psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive science. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Delusion explores the conceptual and philosophical issues in the study of delusion and is the first major reference source of its kind.

    Comprising 38 chapters by an international team of contributors, the Handbook is divided into six clear parts:

    • The Nature of Delusion
    • Delusion in Disorders
    • Epistemology of Delusion
    • Delusion’s Place in the Mind
    • Delusion Formation
    • Responsibility, Culture, and Society.

    Within these sections key topics are discussed including delusions and wellbeing, delusions as they occur in wider mental disorder, the epistemic profile of delusions (evidence, justification, rationality), how delusions are formed, delusions and folk psychology (how they relate to belief, self-deception, imagination, and so on), and delusions in the wider social and cultural context.

    An outstanding resource for both students and researchers, The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Delusion is essential reading for those working on delusion in philosophy departments, and also suitable for those in related disciplines such as psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive science.

    Introduction Ema Sullivan-Bissett

    Part 1: The Nature of Delusion

    1. Delusion and Pathology Valentina Petrolini

    2. Delusion and Meaning Rosa Ritunnano and Jeannette Littlemore

    3. Delusion and Adaptiveness Lisa Bortolotti and Martino Belvederi Murri

    4. Delusion and Malfunction Kengo Miyazono

    5. Delusion and Natural Kinds Richard Samuels

    Part 2: Delusion in Disorders

    6. Delusional Disorders Luigi Grassi and Federica Folesani

    7. Delusions in Psychosis Marianne D. Broeker and Matthew Broome

    8. Delusions in Anorexia Nervosa Stephen Gadsby

    9. Delusions in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Judit Szalai

    10. Delusions in Depression Anna Bortolan

    11. Delusions in the Disorders of Old Age Julian C. Hughes

    Part 3: Epistemology of Delusion

    12. Delusion and Evidence Carolina Flores

    13. Delusion and Double Bookkeeping José Eduardo Porcher

    14. Delusion and Rationality Adam Bradley and Quinn Hiroshi Gibson

    15. Delusion Attribution Sam Wilkinson

    16. Delusion and Introspection Chiara Caporuscio

    17. Delusion and Epistemic Injustice Eleanor Palafox-Harris

    Part 4: Delusion’s Place in the Mind

    18. Delusion and Action Maura Tumulty

    19. Delusion and Doxasticism Paul Noordhof

    20. Delusion and Non-doxasticism Paul Noordhof

    21. Delusion and Imagination Amy Kind

    22. Delusion and Self-deception Jordi Fernández

    23. Delusion and Memory Sarah Robins and Si-Won Song

    24. Delusion and Dreaming Philip Gerrans

    25. Delusion and Folk Psychology Dominic Murphy

    Part 5: Delusion Formation

    26. Empiricism Federico Bongiorno and Matthew Parrott

    27. Rationalism Jakob Ohlhorst

    28. The One-factor Theory Ema Sullivan-Bissett

    29. The Two-factor Theory Martin Davies and Max Coltheart

    30. The Prediction Error theory Philip Corlett

    31. Delusion and Salience Peter McKenna

    32. Delusion and Inference Urte Laukaityte and Matteo Colombo

    33. Delusion and Hypnosis Michael H. Connors

    Part 6: Responsibility, culture, and society

    34. Delusion and Moral Responsibility Matthé Scholten

    35. The Social Turn in Delusions Research Daniel Williams

    36. Delusion and Culture Ian Gold and Joel Gold

    37. Delusion and Conspiracy Theories Joseph Pierre

    38. Delusion and the Unrealistic Comparator Richard Bentall.



    Ema Sullivan-Bissett is a Reader in Philosophy at the University of Birmingham, UK. She is the editor of the volume Belief, Imagination, and Delusion (2024), and the author of Irrationality (2024). Her book How Belief Functions: A Philosophical Inquiry is forthcoming from Routledge.