Shelby Clipp


My research is largely driven by questions concerning the nature of reality tracking. I’m interested in exploring the causes, maintenance, and general features of unusual or atypical beliefs. I’m also like to think about the nature of certain mental states, especially the imagination.

In my MA thesis, “Delusions as Hetero-dynamic Property Clusters” (advised by Neil Van Leeuwen), I address the debate concerning what type of attitude best characterizes delusions. In the paper, I attempt to advance the debate by putting forward a new descriptive model for characterizing delusions. You can read more about the paper here. If you’re so inclined, you can download it here.


A Wittgensteinian Approach to Delineating Delusions

Abstract: In this paper I examine the proposal that delusions can be understood in terms of Wittgenstein’s conception of framework propositions. Despite their initial persuasiveness, I argue that such accounts are incomplete in that they cannot help us adequately distinguish delusions from other ostensibly similar states (e.g., religious beliefs and conspiracy theory beliefs). Accordingly, my aim is to supplement framework proposition accounts by drawing attention to how Wittgenstein’s conception of language games can provide us with a positive story about delusions—one which sets them apart from similar states.