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Understanding Delusions of Alien Control
Abstract

According to Jaspers, claims to the effect that one's thoughts, impulses, or actions are controlled by others belong to those schizophrenic symptoms that are not susceptible to any psychological explanation. In opposition to Jaspers, it has recently been suggested that such claims can be made intelligible by distinguishing two ingredients in our common sense notion of ownership of a thought: It is one thing for a thought to occur in my stream of consciousness; it is another for it to be interpretable in terms of my propositional attitudes. I argue that this distinction cannot be sustained and pursue an alternative suggestion, drawing on Louis Sass's "solipsist interpretation" of schizophrenia.



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