Thought insertion, cognitivism, and inner space
UNSPECIFIED (2002) Thought insertion, cognitivism, and inner space. In: 1st Sheffield Psychopathology Symposium, Sheffield, ENGLAND, JUN 21, 2001. Published in: PATHOLOGIES OF BODY, SELF AND SPACE pp. 237-249.Full text not available from this repository.
Introduction. Whatever its underlying causes, even the description of the phenomenon of thought insertion, of the content of the delusion, presents difficulty. It may seem that the best hope of a description comes from a broadly cognitivist approach to the mind which construes content-laden mental states as internal mental representations within what is literally an inner space: the space of the brain or nervous system. Such an approach objectifies thoughts in a way which might seem to hold out the prospect of describing the "alienated" relation to one's own thoughts that seems to be present in thought insertion.(1)
Method. Firstly, I examine the general structure of cognitivist accounts of intentional or content-laden mental states. I raise the general difficulty of explaining how free-standing, and thus world-independent, inner states can still have bearing on the outer world. Secondly, I briefly examine Frith's model for explaining thought insertion and other passivity phenomena by postulating a failure of an internal monitoring mechanism of inner states. I question what account can be given of non-pathological cases and raise two specific objects.
Results. Cognitivist accounts of the mind face a general, and possibly insuperable, challenge: explaining the intentionality of mental states in non-intentional, non-question-begging terms. There have so far been no satisfactory solutions. Cognitivist accounts of passivity phenomena in terms of a failure of internal monitoring face two objections. Firstly, accounting for non-pathological cases generates an infinite regress. Secondly, no account can be given of the paradoxical nature of utterances of the form of Moore's paradox: "it is raining but I do not believe it".
Conclusions. A cognitivist approach presents an alienated account of thought in normal, non-pathological cases and is no help in accounting for thought insertion.
|Item Type:||Conference Item (UNSPECIFIED)|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology|
|Series Name:||COGNITIVE NEUROPSYCHIATRY SPECIAL ISSUE|
|Journal or Publication Title:||PATHOLOGIES OF BODY, SELF AND SPACE|
|Publisher:||TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD|
|Editor:||Spence, SA and Halligan, PW|
|Number of Pages:||13|
|Page Range:||pp. 237-249|
|Title of Event:||1st Sheffield Psychopathology Symposium|
|Location of Event:||Sheffield, ENGLAND|
|Date(s) of Event:||JUN 21, 2001|
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