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Profile: Alexandre Billon (Université Charles-de-Gaulle - Lille 3)
  1. Making Sense of the Cotard Syndrome: Insights From the Study of Depersonalisation.Alexandre Billon - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (3):356-391.
    Patients suffering from the Cotard syndrome can deny being alive, having guts, thinking or even existing. They can also complain that the world or time have ceased to exist. In this article, I argue that even though the leading neurocognitive accounts have difficulties meeting that task, we should, and we can, make sense of these bizarre delusions. To that effect, I draw on the close connection between the Cotard syndrome and a more common condition known as depersonalisation. Even though they (...)
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  2.  23
    Irrationality and Happiness: A (Neo-)Shopenhauerian Argument for Rational Pessimism.Alexandre Billon - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (1):1-26.
    There is a long tradition in philosophy of blaming passions for our unhappiness. If only we were more rational, it is claimed, we would live happier lives. I argue that such optimism is misguided and that, paradoxically, people with desires, like us, cannot be both happy and rational. More precisely, if someone rational has desires he will not be fully happy, and if he has some desires that are rational and – in a yet-to-be-specified sense – demanding, he will be (...)
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  3. Why Are We Certain That We Exist?Alexandre Billon - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):723-759.
    Descartes was certain that he was thinking and he was accordingly certain that he existed. Like Descartes, we seem to be more certain of our thoughts and our existence than of anything else. What is less clear is the reason why we are thus certain. Philosophers throughout history have provided different interpretations of the cogito, disagreeing both on the kind of thoughts it characterizes and on the reasons for its cogency. According to what we may call the empiricist interpretation of (...)
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  4. Jaspers' Dilemma: The Psychopathological Challenge to Subjectivity Theories of Consciousness.Alexandre Billon & Uriah Kriegel - 2015 - In R. Gennaro (ed.), Disturbed Consciousness. MIT Press. pp. 29-54.
    According to what we will call subjectivity theories of consciousness, there is a constitutive connection between phenomenal consciousness and subjectivity: there is something it is like for a subject to have mental state M only if M is characterized by a certain mine-ness or for-me-ness. Such theories appear to face certain psychopathological counterexamples: patients appear to report conscious experiences that lack this subjective element. A subsidiary goal of this chapter is to articulate with greater precision both subjectivity theories and the (...)
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  5.  87
    Can Fregeans Have 'I'-Thoughts?Alexandre Billon & Marie Guillot - 2014 - Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad de Costa Rica (136):97-105.
    We examine how Frege’s contrast between identity judgments of the forms “a=a” vs. “a=b” would fare in the special case where ‘a’ and ‘b’ are complex mental representations, and ‘a’ stands for an introspected ‘I’-thought. We first argue that the Fregean treatment of I-thoughts entails that they are what we call “one-shot thoughts”: they can only be thought once. This has the surprising consequence that no instance of the “a=a” form of judgment in this specific case comes out true, let (...)
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  6. Does Consciousness Entail Subjectivity? The Puzzle of Thought Insertion.Alexandre Billon - 2011 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (2):291 - 314.
    (2013). Does consciousness entail subjectivity? The puzzle of thought insertion. Philosophical Psychology: Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 291-314. doi: 10.1080/09515089.2011.625117.
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  7. Have We Vindicated the Motivational Unconscious Yet? A Conceptual Review.Alexandre Billon - 2011 - Frontiers in Psychoanalysis and Neuropsychoanalysis 2.
    Motivationally unconscious (M-unconscious) states are unconscious states that can directly motivate a subject’s behavior and whose unconscious character typically results from a form of repression. The basic argument for M-unconscious states claims that they provide the best explanation to some seemingly non rational behaviors, like akrasia, impulsivity or apparent self-deception. This basic argument has been challenged on theoretical, empirical and conceptual grounds. Drawing on recent works on apparent self-deception and on the ‘cognitive unconscious’ I assess those objections. I argue that (...)
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    Basic Self‐Awareness.Alexandre Billon - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (4).
    Basic self-awareness is the kind of self-awareness reflected in our standard use of the first-person. Patients suffering from severe forms of depersonalization often feel reluctant to use the first-person and can even, in delusional cases, avoid it altogether, systematically referring to themselves in the third-person. Even though it has been neglected since then, depersonalization has been extensively studied, more than a century ago, and used as probe for understanding the nature and the causal mechanisms of basic self-awareness. In this paper, (...)
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  9.  53
    My Own Truth ---Pathologies of Self-Reference and Relative Truth.Alexandre Billon - 2011 - In Rahman Shahid, Primiero Giuseppe & Marion Mathieu (eds.), Logic, Epistemology, and the Unity of Science, Vol. 23. springer.
    emantic pathologies of self-reference include the Liar (‘this sentence is false’), the Truth-Teller (‘this sentence is true’) and the Open Pair (‘the neighbouring sentence is false’ ‘the neighbouring sentence is false’). Although they seem like perfectly meaningful declarative sentences, truth value assignment to their uses seems either inconsistent (the Liar) or arbitrary (the Truth-Teller and the Open-Pair). These pathologies thus call for a resolution. I propose such a resolution in terms of relative-truth: the truth value of a pathological sentence use (...)
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  10.  28
    The Truth-Tellers Paradox.Alexandre Billon - 2013 - Logique Et Analyse (204).
    Ttler=‘Ttler is true’ says of itself that it is true. It is a truth-teller. I argue that we have equally telling arguments (i) to the effect that all truth-tellers must have the same truth-value (ii) and the effect that truth-tellers differ in truth-value. This is what I call the Truth-Tellers paradox. This paradox stems from the fact that the truth-value of a truth-teller like Ttler should be determined by the fact that it says of itself that it is true (which (...)
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  11.  6
    « Dousir » et « plaileur » l'énigme de l'attribution d'expériences.Alexandre Billon - 2010 - Philosophie 105 (1):64.
    Cet article aborde le problème de la justification des attributions d'expérience à autrui (problem of other minds). Je compare ce problème à d'autres problèmes sceptiques contemporains dus à Nelson Goodman et Saoül Kripke et je montre qu'il constitue un défi plus pressant et auquel il est plus difficile de répondre de manière modeste. Je propose une solution radicale à ce problème, qui repose sur l'idée, avérée empiriquement, selon laquelle nous disposons de deux formes d'empathie distinctes pour accéder à autrui. Très (...)
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  12. Have We Vindicated the Motivational Unconscious Yet? A Conceptual Review.Alexandre Billon - 2011 - Frontiers in Psychology 2.
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  13. Basic Self‐Awareness.Alexandre Billon - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (1).
    Basic self-awareness is the kind of self-awareness reflected in our standard use of the first-person. Patients suffering from severe forms of depersonalization often feel reluctant to use the first-person and can even, in delusional cases, avoid it altogether, systematically referring to themselves in the third-person. Even though it has been neglected since then, depersonalization has been extensively studied, more than a century ago, and used as probe for understanding the nature and the causal mechanisms of basic self-awareness. In this paper, (...)
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