Mind and Language 32 (1):39-64 (2017)

Matthew Parrott
King's College London
This essay presents a new account of thought insertion. Prevailing views in both philosophy and cognitive science tend to characterize the experience of thought insertion as missing or lacking some element, such as a ‘sense of agency’, found in ordinary first-person awareness of one's own thoughts. By contrast, I propose that, rather than lacking something, experiences of thought insertion have an additional feature not present in ordinary conscious experiences of one's own thoughts. More specifically, I claim that the structure of an experience of thought insertion consists of two distinct elements: a state of ordinary first-person awareness and a sense that this state of awareness is highly unusual. In addition to modeling the experience of thought insertion, I also explain how a delusional pattern of thinking could lead someone who has this kind of experience to adopt a belief that some other entity is inserting thoughts into her mind. Finally, I briefly sketch a neurocomputational framework that could be developed to explain the sense that one's state of first-person awareness is highly irregular.
Keywords Thought Insertion  Immunity to Error Through Misidentification  Delusion  Prediction Error Theory  Subjective Experience
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DOI 10.1111/mila.12132
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References found in this work BETA

The Varieties of Reference.Louise M. Antony - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (2):275.
Monothematic Delusions: Towards a Two-Factor Account.Martin Davies, Max Coltheart, Robyn Langdon & N. Breen - 2001 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 8 (2-3):133-58.

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Citations of this work BETA

First-Person Thought.Daniel Morgan & Léa Salje - 2020 - Analysis 80 (1):148-163.
Delusional Predictions and Explanations.Matthew Parrott - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (1):325-353.
Cotard Syndrome, Self-Awareness, and I-Concepts.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (1):1-20.
A Modified Self-Knowledge Model of Thought Insertion.Sruthi Rothenfluch - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (1):157-181.

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