Well, in the case of schizoid mathematician John Nash, his  
"psychotic" behaviour was also clearly linked to his maths ability.  
After imbibing anti-psychotic medication, not only did his "unreal"  
friends disappear, but his mathematical perception as well. The bind  
he found himself in was surely then to be at once an unreasonable  
machine (under yours and Bruno's definition) and a reasonable machine  
as well - and to be both simultaneously!!! For Nash, the delusional  
was the doorway to provability. He could not separate the two, except  
under the influence of heavy chemistry. Can we do any better? Should  
we even try?


On 27/05/2006, at 10:25 PM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

> It is interesting that in psychiatry, it is impossible to give a
> reliable method for recognizing a delusion. The usual definition is  
> that
> a delusion is a fixed, false belief which is not in keeping with the
> patient's cultural background. If you think about it, why should
> cultural background have any bearing on whether a person's  
> reasoning is
> faulty? And even including this criterion, it is often difficult to  
> tell
> without looking at associated factors such as change in personality,
> mood disturbance, etc. The single best test is to treat someone with
> antipsychotic medication and see if the delusion goes away.

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