Philosophy PhD student Federico Bongiorno has been awarded the Michael K. O’Rourke prize for best PhD publication by the College of Arts and Law for an original research paper on delusions which is forthcoming in Mind and Language.
In his essay, Federico argues for a model explaining the development of the Capgras delusions, the belief that a dear one has been replaced by an impostor. More specifically, Federico proposes that the experience of those who have the delusion is made up of two distinct elements: (i) a sensory-perceptual state in which the person is represented literally as their dear one and (ii) a metaphorical-perceptual state in which the same person is represented metaphorically as an impostor. Federico suggests that the delusion results because the metaphorical representation is treated as literal and endorsed as such. The essay ends with an explanation of why the metaphorical nature of the representation is not ultimately a bar to its acceptance.