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Georgia State University

New Faculty Publication on Religious Delusion

The Abraham DilemmaCongratulations to George Graham, Professor of Philosophy and Neuroscience, on the  publication of his latest book The Abraham Dilemma: A Divine Delusion published by Oxford University Press. As described by the publisher:

The Abraham Dilemma is the first book written by a philosopher on the topic of religious delusion – on the disorder’s causes, contents, consequences, diagnosis and treatment. The book argues that we cannot understand a religious delusion without appreciating three facts. One is that religiosity or spirituality is a part of human nature, whether it takes theistic or non-theistic forms. Another is that religious delusion is something to which we are all vulnerable. The third is that the delusion is not best understood by reducing it to brain chemistry, or by insisting that it is empirically false. It is best understood by examining its harmful personal and moral consequences – consequences that nearly unfolded when the biblical patriarch Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac in response to a command, he thought, from God. The book presents a fascinating and profound exploration of a phenomenon as old as mankind itself.

Dr. Graham’s current research focuses on the intersection of philosophy and psychiatry, including: the problem of the metaphysics of mental illness, the problem of explanatory pluralism versus inter-theoretic reduction, the problem of epistemic self-management, the question of the aim of psychiatric diagnosis, the question of the role of empathetic understanding of illness, and the problem of normative assessment of human conduct, to name just a few. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of more than a dozen books, including: