Obsessive-compulsive disorder and recalcitrant emotion: relocating the seat of irrationality

Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen*, Somogy Varga

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


It is widely agreed that obsessive-compulsive disorder involves irrationality. But where in the complex of states and processes that constitutes OCD should this irrationality be located? A pervasive assumption in both the psychiatric and philosophical literature is that the seat of irrationality is located in the obsessive thoughts characteristic of OCD. Building on a puzzle about insight into OCD, we challenge this pervasive assumption, and argue instead that the irrationality of OCD is located in the emotions that are characteristic of OCD, such as anxiety or fear. In particular, we propose to understand the irrationality of OCD as a matter of harboring recalcitrant emotions. We argue that this account not only solves the puzzle about insight, but also makes better sense of how OCD sufferers experience and describe their condition and helps explain some otherwise puzzling features of compulsive behavior.

TidsskriftPhilosophical Psychology
Sider (fra-til)658-683
Antal sider26
StatusUdgivet - 2024


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