Schizophrenia and the Place of Egodystonic States in the Aetiology of Thought Insertion

Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (3):577-594 (2016)
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Abstract

Despite the diagnostic relevance of thought insertion for disorders such as schizophrenia, the debates about its aetiology are far from resolved. This paper claims that in paying exclusive attention to the perceptual and cognitive impairments leading to delusional experiences in general, current deficit approaches overlook the role that affective disturbances might play in giving rise to cases of thought insertion. In the context of psychosis, affective impairments are often characterized as a consequence of the stress and anxiety caused by delusional episodes. However, here I explore some of the conceptual and empirical reasons to think that affective problems might in fact play a crucial doxastic role in the aetiology of thought insertion. Finally, I conclude by proposing a way of integrating the main insights of my analysis with the current ‘two-factor’ deficit approach to thought insertion and I explore the potential adaptive role that some delusions might have within this framework.

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Pablo Lopez-Silva
Universidad de Valparaíso