This essay selectively reviews, from an historical and philosophical perspective, the dopamine (DA) hypothesis of schizophrenia (DHS; Table 1 lists the abbreviations used in this essay). Our goal is not to adjudicate the validity of the theory—although we arrive at a generally skeptical conclusion—but to focus on the process whereby the DHS has evolved over time and been evaluated. Since its inception, the DHS has been the most prominent etiologic theory in psychiatry and is still referred to (...) widely in current textbooks (e.g., Buchanan and Carpenter, Jr. 2005, 1336; Cohen 2003, 225; Gazzaniga 2004, 1257;Kandel et al. 2000, 1200). Understanding its origins and evolution should help to clarify the nature of modern .. (shrink)
We are gratified at the largely positive comments on our essay on the dopaminehypothesis of schizophrenia (DHS) by these two distinguished commentators from the fields of biological psychiatry (Dr. Tamminga) and the philosophy of psychiatry (Dr. Murphy). There is little that they have said with which we disagree. Rather, we want to expand briefly on their commentaries.We found Dr. Tamminga's reactions to be particularly fascinating because she has been an "insider" to the story of the DHS (...) as it has unfolded. She provides substantial insight into the "extra-scientific" reasons for the persistence of the DHS despite its poor empirical record.She validates our impression that the DHS was in its first years of .. (shrink)
In psychiatry, pharmacological drugs play an important experimental role in attempts to identify the neurobiological causes of mental disorders. Besides being developed in applied contexts as potential treatments for patients with mental disorders, pharmacological drugs play a crucial role in research contexts as experimental instruments that facilitate the formulation and revision of neurobiological theories of psychopathology. This paper examines the various epistemic functions that pharmacological drugs serve in the discovery, refinement, testing, and elaboration of neurobiological theories of mental disorders. I (...) articulate this thesis with reference to the history of antipsychotic drugs and the evolution of the dopaminehypothesis of schizophrenia in the second half of the twentieth century. I argue that interventions with psychiatric patients through the medium of antipsychotic drugs provide researchers with information and evidence about the neurobiological causes of schizophrenia. This analysis highlights the importance of pharmacological drugs as research tools in the generation of psychiatric knowledge and the dynamic relationship between practical and theoretical contexts in psychiatry. (shrink)
According to the reward-prediction error hypothesis of dopamine, the phasic activity of dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain signals a discrepancy between the predicted and currently experienced reward of a particular event. It can be claimed that this hypothesis is deep, elegant and beautiful, representing one of the largest successes of computational neuroscience. This paper examines this claim, making two contributions to existing literature. First, it draws a comprehensive historical account of the main steps that led to the (...) formulation and subsequent success of the RPEH. Second, in light of this historical account, it explains in which sense the RPEH is explanatory and under which conditions it can be justifiably deemed deeper than the incentive salience hypothesis of dopamine, which is arguably the most prominent contemporary alternative to the RPEH. (shrink)
Crespi & Badcock (C&B) convincingly argue that autism and schizophrenia are diametric malfunctions of the social brain, but their core imprinting hypothesis is less persuasive. Much of the evidence they cite is unrelated to their hypothesis, is selective, or is overstated; their hypothesis lacks a clearly explained mechanism; and it is unclear how their explanation fits in with known aspects of the disorders.
The disease construction of schizophrenia is no longer tenable. That construction originated during a period of rapid growth of biological science based on mechanistic principles. Crude diagnostis measures failed to differentiate absurd, unwanted conduct due to biological conditions from atypical conduct directed to solving existential or identity problems. The construction was communicated - in the absence of solid evidence - by medical practitioners by means of symbolic, rhetorical, and organizational acts. The patient came to be regarded as an object (...) without agency or goals. In spite of enormous research funding, no biological or psychological marker has been discovered that would differentiate diagnosed schizophrenics from normals without creating unacceptable proportions of false positives and false negatives. Employing a moral category, "unwanted conduct," as a criterion, and tacitly transforming moral judgments to the medical category, schizophrenia, leads to the use of schizophrenia/nonschizophrenia as the independent variable in research designs. The failure of eight decades of research to produce a reliable marker leads to the conclusion that schizophrenia is an obsolescent hypothesis and should be abandoned. (shrink)
I defend the case for an evolutionary theory of schizophrenia and the social brain, arguing that such an exercise necessitates a broader methodology than that familiar to neuroscience. I propose a reworked evolutionary genetic model of schizophrenia, drawing on insights from commentators, buttressing my claim that psychosis is a costly consequence of sophisticated social cognition in humans. Expanded models of social brain anatomy and the spectrum of psychopathologies are presented in terms of upper and lower social brain and (...) top-down and bottom-up processes. Finally, I argue that cerebral asymmetry evolved as an emergent property of primary intrahemispheric reorganisation in hominoids. (shrink)
A significant cluster of complaints of persons affected by schizophrenia, for example, their feeling ephemeral, lacking core identity, being affected by a diminished sense of existing as a self-present subject, point to the disruptions of structural aspects of the core self. These and similar disturbances aggregate significantly and selectively in the schizophrenia spectrum disorders, occur and are detectable in adolescents at risk of future schizophrenic disorder, and have a tendency to persist. All this led to the proposal that (...) the generative disorder in schizophrenia is a disorder of the self. The phenomenological notion of the self serves to investigate the fact that we live.. (shrink)
Introduction: More than half a century after the introduction of effective pharmacotherapy for the illness, in most patients schizophrenia remains a chronic, relapsing condition with poor long-term outcomes. Methods: We examine the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia from different perspectives to understand why there have not been significant advances, and to consider what the future might hold in store. Results: We argue that the treatment of schizophrenia addresses the phenotype and not the cause; that the causes may not (...) be treatable even if identifiable; that secondary prevention approaches involving treating the phenotype before full-fledged illness develops have, so far, not yielded promising results; and that shifting the focus of treatment from dopamine to other neurotransmitter systems is merely a tertiary prevention approach which will not reverse the extensive structural and functional pathology of schizophrenia. Conclusions: We believe that, given the current state of our knowledge of the illness, the future of the pharmacotherapy of schizophrenia looks bleak. (shrink)
Schizophrenia is a worldwide, prevalent disorder with a multifactorial but highly genetic aetiology. A constant prevalence rate in the face of reduced fecundity has caused some to argue that an evolutionary advantage exists in unaffected relatives. Here, I critique this adaptationist approach, and review – and find wanting – Crow's “speciation” hypothesis. In keeping with available biological and psychological evidence, I propose an alternative theory of the origins of this disorder. Schizophrenia is a disorder of the social (...) brain, and it exists as a costly trade-off in the evolution of complex social cognition. Paleoanthropological and comparative primate research suggests that hominids evolved complex cortical interconnectivity (in particular, frontotemporal and frontoparietal circuits) to regulate social cognition and the intellectual demands of group living. I suggest that the ontogenetic mechanism underlying this cerebral adaptation was sequential hypermorphosis and that it rendered the hominid brain vulnerable to genetic and environmental insults. I argue that changes in genes regulating the timing of neurodevelopment occurred prior to the migration of Homo sapiens out of Africa 100,000–150,000 years ago, giving rise to the schizotypal spectrum. While some individuals within this spectrum may have exhibited unusual creativity and iconoclasm, this phenotype was not necessarily adaptive in reproductive terms. However, because the disorder shared a common genetic basis with the evolving circuitry of the social brain, it persisted. Thus schizophrenia emerged as a costly trade-off in the evolution of complex social cognition. Key Words: cortical connectivity; evolution; heterochrony; metarepresentation; primates; psychiatry; schizophrenia; social brain; social cognition. (shrink)
Chlorpromazine efficacy in schizophrenia was observed 60 years ago. Advances in pharmacotherapy of this disorder have been modest with effectiveness still limited to the psychosis psychopathology and mechanism still dependent on dopamine antagonism. While a look backward may generate pessimism, future discovery may be far more robust. The near future will see significant changes in paradigms applied in discovery. Rather than viewing schizophrenia as a disease entity represented by psychosis, the construct will be deconstructed into component psychopathology (...) domains. Each domain will represent a clinical target for aetiologic and therapeutic discovery. Research on pathophysiology will shift to the neural circuit level in relation to specific behavioural constructs. Progress at the molecular, genetic, cellular and network levels will be more robust. The behavioural paradigm will map on to the deconstructed clinical paradigm and in the process discovery will cut across current classification boundaries. (shrink)
This paper evaluates the ongoing Finnish Adoptive Family Study of Schizophrenia. The Tienari, Lahti et al. study is the most recent attempt to use adoptees as a way of testing the hypothesis that schizophrenia carries a genetic component, and the purpose here is to present what is probably the first in-depth critical analysis of its findings. The published reports of Tienari and associates are the primary focus of analysis, while problems with other schizophrenia adoption studies using (...) similar research designs are also discussed. Because of factors including the selective placement of adoptees, the low variance explained by the two major hypothesized predictor variables for schizophrenia, the invalidity of the schizophrenia spectrum concept, and the failure to find an index schizophrenia rate greater than general population expectations, it is concluded that the Finnish study cannot be regarded as having produced evidence in favor of the genetic theory of schizophrenia. (shrink)
The ongoing incidence of schizophrenia is considered a paradox, as the disorder has genetic basis yet confers survival handicaps. Researchers have not reached consensus regarding theories explaining this contradiction. Major evolutionary theories hypothesize that schizophrenia is: a byproduct of other evolutionary processes, linked to survival advantages that counteract disadvantages, associated with processes such as shamanism conferring advantages to groups, a consequence of modern environments, a result of random processes, such as mutations. A null hypothesis argues that philosophical (...) or methodological problems render evolutionary paradigms inappropriate. These arguments are reviewed in light of an experience-centered approach, which regards experiential accounts as data. A ritual healing theory, derived from this orientation, has bearing on evolutionary theories pertaining to schizophrenia. This theory explains the nature of shamanism, which has features coinciding with schizophrenia. The ritual healing theory is supported by folklore, medical, and anthropological evidence, is amenable to empirical evaluation, and has clinical applications. (shrink)
Evidence for a dysfunction in cognitive coordination in schizophrenia is emerging, but it is not specific enough to prove (or disprove) this long-standing hypothesis. Many aspects of the external world are spatially mapped in the brain. A comprehensive internal representation relies on integration of information across space. Focus on spatial integration in the perceptual and cognitive processes will generate empirical data that shed light on the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.
The influence of emotion on episodic and autobiographical memory in schizophrenia was investigated. Using an experiential approach, the states of awareness accompanying recollection of pictures from the IAPS and of associated autobiographical memories was recorded. Results show that schizophrenia impairs episodic and autobiographical memories in their critical feature: autonoetic awareness, i.e., the type of awareness experienced when mentally reliving events from one’s past. Schizophrenia was also associated with a reduction of specific autobiographical memories. The impact of stimulus (...) valence on memory performance was moderated by clinical status. Patients with schizophrenia recognized more positive than negative pictures, and recalled more positive than negative autobiographical memories while controls displayed the opposite pattern. A hypothesis in terms of a fundamental executive deficit underlying these impairments is proposed. (shrink)
The claim that the disorganized subtype of schizophrenia results from glutamate hypofunction is enhanced by consideration of current subtypology of schizophrenia, symptom definition, interdependence of neurotransmitters, and the nature of the data needed to support the hypothesis. Careful specification clarifies the clinical reality of disorganization as a feature of schizophrenia and increases the utility of the subtype.
There has recently been emphasis put on providing two-factor accounts of monothematic delusions. Such accounts would explain (1) whether a delusional hypothesis (e.g. someone else is inserting thoughts into my mind) can be understood as a prima facie reasonable response to an experience and (2) why such a delusional hypothesis is believed and maintained given its implausibility and evidence against it. I argue that if we are to avoid obfuscating the cognitive mechanisms involved in monothematic delusion formation we (...) should split the first factor (1 above) into two factors: how abnormal experience can give rise to a delusional ‘proto-hypothesis’ and how a ‘proto-hypothesis’ in consort with normal experiences and background information, can be developed into a delusional hypothesis. In particular I will argue that a schizophrenic is faced with the unusual requirement of having to identify an introspectively accessible thought as one's own, and that this requirement of identification is the central experiential abnormality of thought insertion, auditory verbal hallucination, and alien control (i.e. passivity symptoms). Additionally, I will consider non-experiential factors which are required for the formation of a delusional hypothesis. (shrink)
Schizophrenia, like other pathological conditions of mental life, has not been systematically included in the general study of consciousness. By focusing on aspects of chronic schizophrenia, we attempt to remedy this omission. Basic components of Husserl’s phenomenology (intentionality, synthesis, constitution, epoche, and unbuilding) are explicated and then employed in an account of chronic schizophrenia. In schizophrenic experience, basic constituents of reality are lost and the subject must try to explicitly re-constitute them. “Automatic mental life” is weakened such (...) that much of the world that is normally taken-for-granted cannot continue to be so. The subject must actively re-lay the ontological foundations of reality. (shrink)
The “dynamic developmental theory” is based on hypofunctioning dopamine systems that follow an early overactivity phase. The theory does not consider recent experimental evidences from different attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) models and the heterogeneity of the disorder. Alternatives are proposed that integrate available information gathered from clinical and experimental studies, with theoretical constructs.
The reorganization of psychiatric knowledge at the turn of the twentieth century derived from Emil Kraepelin’s clinical classification of psychoses. Surprisingly, within just few years, Kraepelin’s simple dichotomy between dementia praecox and manic-depressive psychosis succeeded in giving psychiatry a new framework that is still used until the present day. Unexpectedly, Kraepelin’s simple clinical scheme based on the dichotomy replaced the significantly more differentiated nosography that dominated psychiatric research in the last three decades of the nineteenth century. Moreover, although all the (...) components of the future development were already available shortly after 1868, the real course, which led to Kraepelin’s dichotomy, was unpredictable then. This paper explores the ways in which the unpredictability of psychiatric knowledge and the postulate of a rationality underlying psychopathological phenomena interacted in the debates regarding the classification of psychoses. It examines the “natural antagonism” between the practical aspirations of an increasingly specialized medical nosology and unitary conceptions, which, in a psychopathological countermovement, emphasized that no somatic criteria can be specified for the majority of psychic abnormalities and that all nosological distinctions are not binding. In this context, this paper investigates the revival of unitary theories of psychosis in postwar German psychiatry and seeks to understand why the forms of thinking that dominated nineteenth-century psychiatry have proved to be very lasting. Furthermore, this paper emphasizes the perspectivity underlying psychiatric research on psychoses and explores the ways in which writing the history of the schizophrenia concept involves inevitably writing the history of the entire psychiatry. (shrink)
Drawing on previous models of anxiety, intermediate memory, the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, and goal-directed behaviour, a neuropsychological hypothesis is proposed for the generation of the contents of consciousness. It is suggested that these correspond to the outputs of a comparator that, on a moment-by-moment basis, compares the current state of the organism's perceptual world with a predicted state. An outline is given of the information-processing functions of the comparator system and of the neural systems which mediate them. (...) The hypothesis appears to be able to account for a number of key features of the contents of consciousness. However, it is argued that neitherthis nor any existing comparable hypothesis is yet able to explain why the brain should generate conscious experience of any kind at all. (shrink)
The paper discusses two recent approaches to schizophrenia, a phenomenological and a neuroscientific approach, illustrating how new directions in philosophy and cognitive science can elaborate accounts of psychopathologies of the self. It is argued that the notion of the minimal and bodily self underlying these approaches is still limited since it downplays the relevance of social interactions and relations for the formation of a coherent sense of self. These approaches also illustrate that we still lack an account of how (...) 1st and 3rd person observations can fruitfully go together in an embodied account of disorders of the self. Two concepts from enactive cognitive science are introduced, the notions of autonomy and sense-making. Based on these, a new proposal for an enactive approach to psychopathologies of the self is outlined that integrates 1st and 3rd person perspectives, while strongly emphasising the role of social interactions in the formation of self. It is shown how the enactive framework might serve as a basis for an alternative understanding of disorders of the self such as schizophrenia, as a particular form of socially constituted self-organisation. (shrink)
It is easy to say that the analysis by Kendler and Schaffner of the status of the dopaminehypothesis of schizophrenia (DHS) is, at the very least, a scholarly read. It includes an exhaustive review of the DHS literature accompanied by a demanding critique. The authors' bar for hypothesis verification is high, and their conclusion is negative—that scientific support is insufficient to retain the hypothesis as such. They proceed to evaluate the reasons they see for (...) both (1) the extensive testing of the hypothesis extending over decades and (2) the failure of the field to falsify in a timely fashion. In a very interesting section, they review philosophical positions about how and in what context scientific advances .. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss an intriguing and relatively little studied symptomatic expression of schizophrenia known as experiences of activity in which patients form the delusion that they can control some external events by the sole means of their mind. I argue that experiences of activity result from patients being prone to aberrantly infer causal relations between unrelated events in a retrospective way owing to widespread predictive deficits. Moreover, I suggest that such deficits may, in addition, lead to an (...) aberrant intentional binding effect i.e., the subjective compression of the temporal interval between an intentional action and its external effects. In particular, it might be that patient’s thoughts are bound to the external events they aimed to control producing, arguably, a temporal contiguity between these two components. Such temporal contiguity would reinforce or sustain the feeling that the patient mind is directly causally efficient. (shrink)
Patients suffering from schizophrenia have an impaired meta-representation also known as Theory of Mind . Moreover, the presence of delusions or other positive symptoms of schizophrenia has been correlated to poor ToM performances. Lack of insight is a common symptom of schizophrenia and can be considered a critical manifestation of impaired ToM abilities. In particular, the present study addresses the role of perspective ToM ability in schizophrenic patients. Thirty severely delusional schizophrenic patients completely lack insight when interviewed (...) about their delusions. Seven subsequently gain insight about their mental state when perspective is shifted from the first person to third person. These data suggest that in some delusional schizophrenic patients, it may be possible to gain access to and modify their mental states. (shrink)
This paper seeks to demonstrate the structural difference in communication of schizophrenia and autism. For a normal adult, spontaneous communication is nothing but the transmission of phantasía (thought) by means of perceptual objects or language. This transmission is first observed in a make-believe play of child. Husserl named this function “perceptual phantasía,” and this function presupposes as its basis the “internalized affection of contact” (which functions empirically in eye contact, body contact, or voice calling me). Regarding autism, because of (...) the innate lack of affection of contact, intersubjective perceptual phantasía does not occur spontaneously. Consequently, autistics do not engage in make-believe play but in stereotyped and solipsistic play. Without the formation of perceptual phantasía, there is no differentiation between phantasía and perception. For this reason, people with Asperger's syndrome consider conversation not an immediate communication of thought but a logical transmission of concepts. Schizophrenia is characterized by a distortion in the internalized affection of contact, resulting in a disturbance of perceptual phantasía, and this later is covered by various symptoms—for example, delusion as a pathological kind of communication of thought. This delusion is based on the pathological internalized affection of contact represented by a terrifying Other. (shrink)
[This is an earlier, much longer and more detailed version of my entry on LOTH in the _Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy_] The Language of Thought Hypothesis (LOTH) is an empirical thesis about thought and thinking. For their explication, it postulates a physically realized system of representations that have a combinatorial syntax (and semantics) such that operations on representations are causally sensitive only to the syntactic properties of representations. According to LOTH, thought is, roughly, the tokening of a representation that (...) has a syntactic (constituent) structure with an appropriate semantics. Thinking thus consists in syntactic operations defined over representations. Most of the arguments for LOTH derive their strength from their ability to explain certain empirical phenomena like productivity, systematicity of thought and thinking. (shrink)
This paper provides a concise description and discussion of bottom–up and top–down approaches to misattribution of agency in schizophrenia. It explores if first-person accounts of passivity phenomena can provide support for one of these approaches. The focus is on excerpts in which the writers specifically examine their experiences of external influence. None of the accounts provides arguments that fit easily with only one of the possible approaches, which is in line with current attempts to theoretical integration.
The multiverse hypothesis is growing in popularity among theistic philosophers because some view it as the preferable way to solve certain difficulties presented by theistic belief. In this paper, I am concerned specifically with its application to Rowe’s problem of no best world, which suggests that God’s existence is impossible given the fact that the world God actualizes must be unsurpassable, yet for any given possible world, there is one greater. I will argue that, as a solution to the (...) problem of no best world, the multiverse hypothesis fails. To defend my thesis, I will first define the multiverse hypothesis and articulate the problem of no best world and how the multiverse hypothesis is thought to solve it. I will then show that the solution fails by articulating two problems that have been mentioned, but not developed, in the literature—what I call the problem of no highest standard and the problem of multiverse cardinality. In each case, after articulating the problem, I will offer possible responses to the problem and show why those responses are inadequate. (shrink)
In this paper we study some statements similar to the Partition Principle and the Trichotomy. We prove some relationships between these statements, the Axiom of Choice, and the Generalized Continuum Hypothesis. We also prove some independence results. MSC: 03E25, 03E50, 04A25, 04A50.
Several theories claim that dreaming is a random by-product of REM sleep physiology and that it does not serve any natural function. Phenomenal dream content, however, is not as disorganized as such views imply. The form and content of dreams is not random but organized and selective: during dreaming, the brain constructs a complex model of the world in which certain types of elements, when compared to waking life, are underrepresented whereas others are over represented. Furthermore, dream content is consistently (...) and powerfully modulated by certain types of waking experiences. On the basis of this evidence, I put forward the hypothesis that the biological function of dreaming is to simulate threatening events, and to rehearse threat perception and threat avoidance. To evaluate this hypothesis, we need to consider the original evolutionary context of dreaming and the possible traces it has left in the dream content of the present human population. In the ancestral environment human life was short and full of threats. Any behavioral advantage in dealing with highly dangerous events would have increased the probability of reproductive success. A dream-production mechanism that tends to select threatening waking events and simulate them over and over again in various combinations would have been valuable for the development and maintenance of threat-avoidance skills. Empirical evidence from normative dream content, children's dreams, recurrent dreams, nightmares, post traumatic dreams, and the dreams of hunter-gatherers indicates that our dream-production mechanisms are in fact specialized in the simulation of threatening events, and thus provides support to the threat simulation hypothesis of the function of dreaming. Key Words: dream content; dream function; evolution of consciousness; evolutionary psychology; fear; implicit learning; nightmares; rehearsal; REM; sleep; threat perception. (shrink)
Many philosophers and psychologists now argue that emotions play a vital role in reasoning. This paper explores one particular way of elucidating how emotions help reason which may be dubbed ?the search hypothesis of emotion?. After outlining the search hypothesis of emotion and dispensing with a red herring that has marred previous statements of the hypothesis, I discuss two alternative readings of the search hypothesis. It is argued that the search hypothesis must be construed as (...) an account of what emotions typically do, rather than as a definition of emotion. Even as an account of what emotions typically do, the search hypothesis can only be evaluated in the context of a specific theory of what emotions are. 1 Introduction 2 The search hypothesis of emotion 3 A red herring: the frame problem 4 The search problem 5 Two readings of the search hypothesis 6 Two final remarks 7 Conclusion. (shrink)
I present the symbol grounding problem in the larger context of a materialist theory of content and then present two problems for causal, teleo-functional accounts of content. This leads to a distinction between two kinds of mental representations: presentations and symbols; only the latter are cognitive. Based on Milner and Goodale’s dual route model of vision, I posit the existence of precise interfaces between cognitive systems that are activated during object recognition. Interfaces are constructed as a child learns, and is (...) taught, how to interact with its environment; hence, interface structure has a social determinant essential for symbol grounding. Symbols are encoded in the brain to exploit these interfaces, by having projections to the interfaces that are activated by what they symbolise. I conclude by situating my proposal in the context of Harnad’s (1990) solution to the symbol grounding problem and responding to three standard objections. (shrink)
This paper examines the justification for the hypothesis of extended cognition (HEC). HEC claims that human cognitive processes can, and often do, extend outside our heads to include objects in the environment. HEC has been justified by inference to the best explanation (IBE). Both advocates and critics of HEC claim that we should infer the truth value of HEC based on whether HEC makes a positive, or negative, explanatory contribution to cognitive science. I argue that IBE cannot play this (...) epistemic role. A serious rival to HEC exists with a differing truth value, and this invalidates IBEs for both the truth and falsity of HEC. Explanatory value to cognitive science cannot be used as a guide to the truth value of HEC. (shrink)
Following Hume’s lead, Paul Draper argues that, given the biological role played by both pain and pleasure in goal-directed organic systems, the observed facts about pain and pleasure in the world are antecedently much more likely on the Hypothesis of Indifference than on theism. I examine one by one Draper’s arguments for this claim and show how they miss the mark.
John Searle''s hypothesis of the Background seems to conflict with his initial representationalism according to which each Intentional state contains a particular content that determines its conditions of satisfaction. In Section I of this essay I expose Searle''s initial theory of Intentionality and relate it to Edmund Husserl''s earlier phenomenology. In Section II I make it clear that Searle''s introduction of the notion of Network, though indispensable, does not, by itself, force us to modify that initial theory. However, a (...) comparison of this notion to the notion of horizon from Husserl''s later phenomenology and an interpretation of Husserl''s conception of the determinable X as providing a solution to the problem of perceptual misidentification lead me to conclude that in his discussion of ''twin examples'' Searle had better modified his initial theory. Finally, I critically examine Searle''s claim that anyone who tries seriously to follow out the threads in the Network will eventually reach a bedrock of non-Intentional capacities. In Section III I show in detail, partly in a rather Husserlian vein, that Searle''s four official arguments for the Background thesis, though containing some very valuable contributions to a theory of linguistic skills, are not convincing at all if they are to be understood as going beyond the scope of Searle''s ''content-cum-Network'' picture of Intentionality. The upshot of these considerations is that the Background thesis should be read as a thesis concerning the causal neurophysiological preconditions of human Intentionality rather than concerning the logical properties of Intentional states in general. Recently Searle himself has come to the same result, but he does not say for which reasons. The present essay makes it clear why Searle just had to arrive at this important result. (shrink)
Eugen Bleuler, in 1911, renamed the group of mental disorders with poor prognosis which Emil Kraepel in had called ``dementia praecox'' ``group of schizophrenias'',because for him the splitting of personality was the main symptom.Biographical, scientific and methodological influences on Bleuler's concept of schizophrenia are shown with special reference to Kraepelin and Freud.Bleuler was a passionate and very experienced clinician. He lived with his patients, taking care of them and writing down his observations. Methodologically he was an empiricist and an (...) eclecticist with a wide reading knowledge.In an impaired association of ideas, in disordered affectivity, in marked ambivalence and autism Bleuler saw the main symptoms of schizophrenia. For him these so-called pathological phenomena actually seemed to be only exaggerations of normal psychic functions. So there were only a quantitative, not a qualitative difference between schizophrenia and normal psychic processes and studies on schizophrenic ``pathology'' –seen as a disturbance, not as a disease – might analogously illustrate normal psychic reactions and vice versa.In etiology as well as in therapy Bleuler took into account psychological and (neuro)physiological(somatic) mechanisms – thus combining organicism and dynamic psychiatry and coming very close to modern concepts, e.g. the one of stress and vulnerability. Bleuler's main merit is the stressing of an idiographic ``understanding'' of the patient and a plausible and subtle explanation of schizophrenia which helped to reduce the alienation of the affected persons. (shrink)
In Darwinism's Struggle for Survival Jean Gayon offers a philosophical interpretation of the history of theoretical Darwinism. He begins by examining the different forms taken by the hypothesis of natural selection in the nineteenth century and the major difficulties which it encountered, particularly with regard to its compatibility with the theory of heredity. He then shows how these difficulties were overcome during the seventy years which followed the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species, and he concludes by analysing the (...) major features of the genetic theory of natural selection, as it developed from 1920 to 1960. This rich and wide-ranging study will appeal to philosophers and historians of science and to evolutionary biologists. (shrink)
In the past dozen years a number of theoretical models of schizophrenic symptoms have been proposed, often inspired by advances in the cognitive sciences, and especially cognitive neuroscience. Perhaps the most widely cited and influential of these is the neurocognitive model proposed by Christopher Frith (1992). Frith's influence reaches into psychiatry, neuroscience, and even philosophy. The philosopher John Campbell (1999a), for example, has called Frith's model the most parsimonious explanation of how self-ascriptions of thoughts are subject to errors of identification. (...) "On reflection, it also seems that this is not just one possible theory; it is the simplest theory which has any prospect of explaining the sense of agency, and we ought to work from it, introducing complications only as necessary" (1999a, p. 612). Not everyone agrees. In their recent analysis of alien voices and inserted thoughts in schizophrenia, Stephens and Graham (2000) offer a critique of Frith. Their criticism, however, although serious, is neither deep nor extensive. They outline three points. First, Frith fails to provide an adequate account of why a subject who experiences thought insertion would misattribute that thought to some other agent. Second, Frith does not clarify the distinction between thought insertion and thought influence. And third, Frith fails to explain how a subject can claim both that he is thinking the thought and that the thought is someone else's thought (Stephens and Graham.. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Dylan Evans proposed that emotions could help solve what has been known as ?the frame problem?. In the process, he first questioned the utility of using the frame problem as a framework. After tackling this issue, he provided an alternative terminology to the frame problem?termed ?the search hypothesis of emotion??in order to re-examine how emotions aid rational agents. His new terminology, however, opens itself to other critiques. While accepting the basic tenets of his analysis, I (...) question (i) whether a single search theory of emotion is adequate, and (ii) whether his theory would have been better termed ?the search hypothesis of feeling?. Finally, I extend some of the ideas developed in Evans' paper. Introduction Emotion, reason and ends The search hypothesis of emotion revisited Conclusion. (shrink)
In this article I ask whether elaborated and systematized delusions emerging in the context of schizophrenia have the potential for epistemic innocence. Cognitions are epistemically innocent if they have significant epistemic benefits that could not be attained otherwise. In particular, I propose that a cognition is epistemically innocent if it delivers some significant epistemic benefit to a given agent at a given time, and if alternative cognitions delivering the same epistemic benefit are unavailable to that agent at that time. (...) Elaborated and systematized delusions in schizophrenia are typically false and exemplify failures of rationality and self-knowledge. Empirical studies suggest that they may have psychological benefits by relieving anxiety and enhancing meaningfulness. Moreover, these delusions have been considered as adaptive in virtue of the fact that they enable automated learning to resume after a significant disruption caused by incorrect prediction-error signalling. I argue that such psychological benefits and adaptive features also have positive epistemic consequences. More precisely, delusions can be a means to restoring epistemic functionality in agents who are overwhelmed by hypersalient experiences in the prodromal stage of psychosis. The analysis leads to a more complex view of the epistemic status of delusions than is found in the contemporary philosophical literature and has some implications for clinical practice. 1 Introduction2 Types of Delusions3 What Is Wrong with Elaborated and Systematized Delusions?4 Finding Life Meaningful5 Learning Resumed6 Epistemic Innocence7 Epistemic Benefit8 No Alternatives9 Conclusions and Implications. (shrink)