The Feeling of Personal Ownership of One’s Mental States: A Conceptual Argument and Empirical Evidence for an Essential, but Underappreciated, Mechanism of Mind

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Abstract
I argue that the feeling that one is the owner of his or her mental states is not an intrinsic property of those states. Rather, it consists in a contingent relation between consciousness and its intentional objects. As such, there are (a variety of) circumstances, varying in their interpretive clarity, in which this relation can come undone. When this happens, the content of consciousness still is apprehended, but the feeling that the content “belongs to me” no longer is secured. I discuss the implications of a mechanism enabling personal ownership for understanding a variety of clinical syndromes as well normal mental function.
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First archival date: 2015-02-08
Latest version: 12 (2015-12-16)
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2015-02-08

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