The Measure of Madness
Philosophy of Mind, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Delusional Thought
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: The MIT Press
Title Page, Other Works in the Series, Copyright
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A complete list of people who have helped me with the ideas in this book would be extremely long. But I must make special mention of the people and places without whom it could not have been written. First, at the dawn of the millennium, Kim Sterelny, Martin Davies, and Max Coltheart initiated a research...
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In 1979 three neuropsychologists reported an unusual case of delusion developed by a man following his admission to the hospital in a coma after a car accident. Prior to his accident he had exhibited signs of psychiatric illness such as paranoid delusions and auditory hallucinations. However, after his car accident, which...
1. The Measure of Madness
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How should we explain delusion? A constant flood of research provides information about the neural correlates of delusion at levels of resolution ranging from the molecular to the synaptic and neuroanatomical. At the same time, cognitive neuroscientists have developed information-processing theories that...
2. Models, Mechanisms, and Cognitive Theories
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The previous chapter suggested that despite the arguments of Meaning Rationalists and Neurobiological Eliminativists, personal-level psychology is not an autonomous explanatory realm. In fact, there must be an explanatory relationship between neuroscience and folk psychology (as the everyday practice of personal-level...
3. The Processing Hierarchy and the Salience System
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The mind is organized as a hierarchical system that uses representations of the world and its own states to control behavior. According to recently influential Bayesian theories of the mind, all levels of the cognitive hierarchy exploit the same principle: error correction (Clark 2012; Jones and Love 2011; Friston...
4. The Default Mode Network
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The main task of this chapter is to explain the properties of the default mode network (DMN)—the system that is active and relatively unsupervised in delusion. The default mode of the DMN is a resting state of a powerful simulation system that evolved to allow humans to simulate experiences in the absence of an eliciting...
5. Dreaming, Default Thinking, and Delusion
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In this chapter we pursue the idea that the often-remarked, but not well-explained, similarity between dreaming and delusion results from the fact that they are both states characterized by activity in the default system unsupervised by decontextualized processes. We give a mechanistic and a cognitive explanation...
6. The Second Factor: Default or Doxastic Incorporation
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Most cognitive theories of delusion converge on the idea that perceptual or sensory processing anomalies alone are insufficient to lead to delusion. There must be an additional cognitive process involved in generating delusion. This chapter discusses the most influential account of that second factor. This...
7. Imagination Incorporated
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The “default thought” theory of delusion needs to show how default thoughts, which are essentially simulations, can come to occupy the functional role of belief, or at least enough of that role to cause an interpreter (perhaps even a self-interpreter) to conclude that the subject is acting on the basis of...
8. The Sense of Agency, Lost and Found: Experience and Thought in Schizophrenic Delusion
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A book on delusions would be incomplete without a discussion of schizophrenic delusions—the most common, clinically significant, and, in some ways, most baffling forms of delusion. (How can a person genuinely experience episodes of thinking that originate in someone else’s mind?) Previous chapters...
9. Louis Sass and the Schizophrenic Lifeworld
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Phenomenological theories of delusion aim to make the lifeworld of the delusional patient intelligible, to cross that interpretative border described by Jaspers. Some phenomenologists have argued that one reason delusions seem so mysterious is the doxastic framework itself. Understood as empirical beliefs, many...
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The preceding chapters described differences between delusional and normal cognition. Throughout, the aim has been to show that if we keep in mind the idea that the human brain implements a hierarchy of cognitive processes and describe those processes as accurately as possible, the relationship between...
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Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2014