On thought insertion

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Abstract
In this paper, I investigate in detail one theoretical approach to the symptom of thought insertion. This approach suggests that patients are lead to disown certain thoughts they are subjected to because they lack a sense of active participation in the occurrence of those thoughts. I examine one reading of this claim, according to which the patients’ anomalous experiences arise from a breakdown of cognitive mechanisms tracking the production of occurrent thoughts, before sketching an alternative reading, according to which their experiences have to be explained in terms of a withdrawal, on the part of the patients themselves, from certain forms of active engagement in reasoning. I conclude with a discussion of the relationship between this view and the idea that patients’ reports of thought insertion reflect a situation in which the boundaries between the self and the world have become uncertain.
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Archival date: 2017-05-05
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2009-01-28

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