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Clean HandsPhilosophical Lessons from Scrupulosity$
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Jesse S. Summers and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190058692

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190058692.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 March 2021

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

(p.19) 2 Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Clean Hands

Jesse S. Summers

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Oxford University Press

Scrupulosity dates back millennia and is widely reported in Catholic and Protestant traditions over the last half-century. This chapter looks more generally at obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD is characterized by obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are recurrent and persistent, intrusive and unwanted, unjustified, and anxiety-evoking. Also, OCD needs to be distinguished from a different condition with a similar name: obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). Whereas OCD is an anxiety disorder, OCPD is a personality disorder, that is, a disorder in those stable traits that make up one’s personality. The chapter addresses difficulties in determining whether obsessions are beliefs: normal tests of beliefs fail in the case of OCD and Scrupulosity. It next considers compulsions, repetitive behaviors performed in response to obsessions that aim to prevent or reduce anxiety or distress.

Keywords:   obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), obsessions, compulsions, beliefs

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