CFP: Symposium on Why Delusions Matter by Lisa Bortolotti

Submission deadline: November 20, 2023

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In the third quarter of 2024, Philosophy and the Mind Sciences will publish a book symposium on Lisa Bortolotti's Why Delusions Matter (Bloomsbury 2023). The symposium will consist of a précis of the book, several short commentaries, and a reply by the author. We hereby invite proposals for commentaries for this symposium.

About the book: When we talk about delusions we may refer to symptoms of mental health problems, such as clinical delusions in schizophrenia, or simply the beliefs that people cling to which are implausible and resistant to counterevidence; these can include anything from beliefs about the benefits of homeopathy to concerns about the threat of alien abduction.

Why do people adopt delusional beliefs and why are they so reluctant to part with them? In Why Delusions Matter, Lisa Bortolotti explains what delusions really are and argues that, despite their negative reputation, they can also play a positive role in people's lives, imposing some meaning on adverse experiences and strengthening personal or social identities. In a clear and accessible style, Bortolotti contributes to the growing research on the philosophy of the cognitive sciences, offering a novel and nuanced view of delusions.

You can find a preprint of the précis here:

About the author: Lisa Bortolotti is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Birmingham, UK. She works in the philosophy of psychology and psychiatry. She is the author of Delusions and Other Irrational Beliefs (2009), which was awarded the American Philosophical Association Biannual Book Prize, Irrationality (2014) and The Epistemic Innocence of Irrational Beliefs (2020). 

About the symposium: The symposium will consist of a précis by Bortolotti, several short commentaries (approx. 1,000-3,000 words), and replies. 

The symposium is being edited by Chiara Caporuscio and will feature invited commentaries by Elly Vintiadis, Daniel Williams, and Valerie Van Mulukom.

We hereby invite proposals for additional commentaries. Proposals should be between 100-300 words and prepared for blind review. They should indicate clearly which aspect(s) of the book the commentary will focus on and outline the argument to be made or the main ideas to be discussed. Proposals are due by 20th of November 2023, with decisions to be made by early December 2023. Around three proposals will be considered for inclusion in the book symposium.

Full commentaries (around 1,000-3,500 words), based on the proposals, will be due on April 15th 2024. After this, commentaries will go through a review process, with final versions due in June. Manuscripts will only be sent out for review if the proposal was accepted. However, acceptance of the proposal does not guarantee publication of the full commentary.

Please submit your proposal or send any questions you may have about the symposium to [email protected].

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