Davidsonian holism in recent philosophy of psychiatry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The views of Davidson are being talked about, with increasing frequency, in the philosophy of psychiatry literature. His propositional attitude holism, in particular, has been much discussed in recent philosophical work on psychiatric delusions. The consensus is clear: Davidsonian holism, according to which rationality is constitutive of thought, is undermined by psychiatric delusions. The present chapter is an attempt to cast doubt on this consensus. It is argued that, properly interpreted, Davidsonian holism is quite compatible with the psychiatric phenomena invoked to discredit it. Appreciating this compatibility requires careful attention to the irrationality characteristic of psychiatric delusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDonald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the Mental
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191742316
ISBN (Print)9780199697519
StatePublished - Jan 24 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Davidson
  • Holism
  • Irrationality
  • Propositional attitudes
  • Psychiatric delusions
  • Rationality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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