Delusion as error: The history of a metaphor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Error has been the major metaphor for understanding delusions through the past three centuries. Modem definition of delusion as erroneous opinion or belief is evidence of the continuing role of this metaphor to this day. However, through long habituation the metaphorical nature of the association between delusion and error is no longer recognized. In other words, the metaphor has become literal and all but invisible. This paper seeks to shed light on this metaphor by tracing its development from inception in the seventeenth century to the present time. Also, the impact of the metaphor on modern research and therapeutic approaches is briefly discussed. Finally, to put the metaphor of error in perspective, some other metaphors applied to delusion over the years are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalHistory of Psychiatry
Volume11
Issue number41
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

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Metaphor
Delusions
History
Modems
Therapeutic Human Experimentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Delusion as error : The history of a metaphor. / Mojtabai, Ramin.

In: History of Psychiatry, Vol. 11, No. 41, 2000, p. 3-14.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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