The Dynamics of Delusion is a year-long research project graciously funded by the British Academy. Here is a brief description of the project:
People develop delusions in association with a number of different conditions, including schizophrenia, dementia, and traumatic brain injury. Typically, individuals experiencing delusion have extremely odd beliefs about the world, such as that their mother is an imposter. How do they come to hold these strange beliefs? Thus far, attempts to explain delusions have not been fully successful, mainly because leading theories treat them as static psychological conditions. By contrast, my project aims to develop a dynamic conception of delusion. According to this novel framework, delusional thinking can develop along several different dimensions, for instance in the way a person reasons, or imagines things, or makes decisions, or thinks about possibilities. In my project, I shall explore how different dynamic psychological processes might themselves be characteristic features of delusional thinking. This promises to deepen our understanding of the nature of delusions, both theoretically and within the context of clinical practice.
The project will hold a monthly interdisciplinary seminar series at St Hilda's College. If you would like to attend, please just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Seminars will take place between 2 pm and 4:30 pm in the Rooftop Garden Suite at St Hilda's. Seminars will begin with a short presentation, followed by more general discussion.
The seminar series will serve as a forum for refining the philosophical concepts and theoretical models of delusional thinking developed over the course of the project, and it will also allow for in depth exploration of the implications the dynamic conception of delusion will have for clinical practice. Crucially, the seminar will also ensure that the dynamic conception of delusion developed by the project is informed by the lived experiences of individuals most familiar with delusions.
Thursday, 5 October, 2023 Introductory Remarks: Dr Matthew Parrott, University of Oxford
Thursday, 2 November, 2023 Introductory Remarks: Dr Martin Gillies, Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer in Neurosurgery, University of Oxford
Thursday, 7 December, 2023 Introductory Remarks: Professor Matthew Broome, Professor of Psychiatry, Director Institute of Mental Health, University of Birmingham