David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Consciousness and Cognition 18 (2):515 - 520 (2009)
Synofzik, Vosgerau, and Newen (2008) offer a powerful explanation of the sense of agency. To argue for their model they attempt to show that one of the standard models (the comparator model) fails to explain the sense of agency and that their model offers a more general account than is aimed at by the standard model. Here I offer comment on both parts of this argument. I offer an alternative reading of some of the data they use to argue against the comparator model. I argue that contrary to Synofzik, Vosgerau and Newen’s reading the case of G.L. supports rather than contradicts the comparator model. Next I suggest how the comparator model can differentiate failures of action attribution in patients suffering parietal lobe lesions and delusions of alien control. I also argue that the apparently unexpected phenomenon of ‘‘hyperassociation” is predicted by the comparator model. Finally I suggest that as it stands Synofzik, Vosgerau and Newen’s model is not well specified enough to explain deficits in the sense of agency associated with delusions of thought insertion. Thus they have not met their second argumentative burden of showing how their model is more general than the comparator model.
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