The second year of ERC-funded project PERFECT (logo above) has just started and it is time to look back at what we have done so far and make plans for the future.
What we have done so far
Ema, Magdalena, Michael and I have had a very busy time, delivering talks, writing papers, and sponsoring a series of really interesting, interdisciplinary events, including a public engagement event on Sight, Sound and Mental Health for the Arts and Science Festival 2015, a Delusion lunchtime seminar with experts on delusion formation, and a session on the Function of Delusions as part of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Annual Congress.
We had three papers published open access: a review paper on costs and benefits of realism and optimism in Current Opinion in Psychiatry, a paper on the ethics of delusional belief in Erkenntnis, and a review paper on the nature and development of delusions in Philosophy Compass. Many more are in progress!
We continued to disseminate our work on the blog, and also created an Imperfect Cognitions playlist on YouTube highlighting our network members' work, and an app for iOS and Android, called PERFECT, free to download, with information about events, links to relevant sites, videos, blog posts, links to papers, and some interactive features (e.g., "Ask PERFECT"!)
What I plan to do next
Ema, Magdalena, and Michael will tell you about their own plans in the next few Tuesday blog posts, and I will say something about mine here.
I am increasingly interested in what irrational cognitions mean for agency. Overly optimistic beliefs ("I am a talented football player" when I am just a mediocre one) and explanations that are not grounded on evidence ("I offered the job to Jim and not to Julie because he was better prepared" when my selection was based on implicit biases due to gender stereotypes) are good examples of cognitions that do not seem to get us any closer to the truth but play some role in helping us achieve other goals, some of which turn out to be epistemically worthwhile.