Underlying delusion: Predictive processing, looping effects, and the personal/sub-personal distinction

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


    What is the relationship between the concepts of the predictive processing theory of brain functioning and the everyday concepts with which people conduct and explain their mental lives? To answer this question, we focus on predictive processing explanations of mental disorder that appeal to false inference. After distinguishing two concepts of false inference, we survey four ways of understanding the relationship between explanations of mental phenomena at the personal and sub-personal level. We then argue that if predictive processing accurately accounts for psychological and socio-cultural dynamics, then personal and sub-personal concepts must display a looping relationship that can impact the nature of at least some mental phenomena. In particular, explaining the phenomenon of delusion in terms of the sub-personal concept of false inference should change the nature of delusional experiences themselves.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)829-855
    Number of pages27
    JournalPhilosophical Psychology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2021


    • Delusion
    • False inference
    • Human Kinds
    • Mental Disorder
    • Personal/sub-personal level explanations
    • Predictive Processing


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