Depersonalization, the experience of prosthesis, and our cosmic insignificance: The experimental phenomenology of an altered state
Graduate studies at Western
Philosophical Psychology 5 (3):257-285 (1992)
|Abstract||Psychogenic depersonalization is an altered mental state consisting of an unusual discontinuity in the phenomenological perception of personal being; the individual is engulfed by feelings of unreality, self-detachment and unfamiliarity in which the self is felt to lack subjective perspective and the intuitive feeling of personal embodiment. A new sub-feature of depersonalization is delineated. 'Prosthesis' consists in the thought that the thinker is a 'mere thing'. It is a subjectively realized sense of the specific and objective 'thingness' of the particular object thought about. I show that prosthesis is an important cognitive feature of depersonalization, and may be psychologically connected with the tendency of depersonalized individuals to report 'philosophical' types of thinking. Indeed, several philosophical issues concerning the identity of the self appear to have been enhanced by prosthesis experiences. Thus, far more efficient than William James's experimental attempts to uncover philosophical truths under the influence of nitrous oxide intoxication, prosthesis may be a safe and recommended experience for philosophers. The history of depersonalization theories is presented from Krishaber to Freud, and the main approaches to prosthesis criticized. Finally, a fresh approach to psychogenic depersonalization is outlined on the basis of certain cognitive similarities with visual agnosia. This paper may be understood as continuing the Jamesian tradition 'experimental abnormal psychology', that is, of examining extraordinary mental states with an eye to their philosophical implications|
|Keywords||Mental States Psychology Science Self|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Kjell Modigh (2002). Depersonalization and Feelings of Unreality: Significant Symptoms With a Variety of Meanings. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 9 (3):285-286.
C. N. (2002). Epistemic Consciousness. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (3):425-441.
Jason Kawall (1999). The Experience Machine and Mental State Theories of Well-Being. Journal of Value Inquiry 33 (3):381-387.
Antti Revonsuo, Sakari Kallio & Pilleriin Sikka (2009). What is an Altered State of Consciousness? Philosophical Psychology 22 (2):187 – 204.
Neil Campbell Manson (2002). Epistemic Consciousness. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science A 33 (3):425-441.
Matthew Ratcliffe (2008). Feelings of Being: Phenomenology, Psychiatry and the Sense of Reality. Oxford University Press.
Hedy Kober, Alysa Ray, Sukhvinder Obhi, Kevin Guise & Julian Paul Keenan (2005). The Neural Correlates of Depersonalization: A Disorder of Self-Awareness. In Todd E. Feinberg & Julian Paul Keenan (eds.), The Lost Self: Pathologies of the Brain and Identity. Oxford University Press.
Somogy Varga (forthcoming). Depersonalization and the Sense of Realness. Philosophy, Psychology and Psychiatry:103-113.
Adam Arico (2010). Folk Psychology, Consciousness, and Context Effects. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3):371-393.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads20 ( #68,300 of 739,352 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #37,186 of 739,352 )
How can I increase my downloads?