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Alexandre Billon
Université Charles-de-Gaulle - Lille 3
  1. Making Sense of the Cotard Syndrome: Insights From the Study of Depersonalisation.Alexandre Billon - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (3):356-391.
    Patients suffering from the Cotard syndrome can deny being alive, having guts, thinking or even existing. They can also complain that the world or time have ceased to exist. In this article, I argue that even though the leading neurocognitive accounts have difficulties meeting that task, we should, and we can, make sense of these bizarre delusions. To that effect, I draw on the close connection between the Cotard syndrome and a more common condition known as depersonalisation. Even though they (...)
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  2. Jaspers' Dilemma: The Psychopathological Challenge to Subjectivity Theories of Consciousness.Alexandre Billon & Uriah Kriegel - 2015 - In R. Gennaro (ed.), Disturbed Consciousness. MIT Press. pp. 29-54.
    According to what we will call subjectivity theories of consciousness, there is a constitutive connection between phenomenal consciousness and subjectivity: there is something it is like for a subject to have mental state M only if M is characterized by a certain mine-ness or for-me-ness. Such theories appear to face certain psychopathological counterexamples: patients appear to report conscious experiences that lack this subjective element. A subsidiary goal of this chapter is to articulate with greater precision both subjectivity theories and the (...)
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  3. Irrationality and Happiness: A (Neo-)Shopenhauerian Argument for Rational Pessimism.Alexandre Billon - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (1):1-26.
    There is a long tradition in philosophy of blaming passions for our unhappiness. If only we were more rational, it is claimed, we would live happier lives. I argue that such optimism is misguided and that, paradoxically, people with desires, like us, cannot be both happy and rational. More precisely, if someone rational has desires he will not be fully happy, and if he has some desires that are rational and – in a yet-to-be-specified sense – demanding, he will be (...)
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  4. Have We Vindicated the Motivational Unconscious Yet? A Conceptual Review.Alexandre Billon - 2011 - Frontiers in Psychoanalysis and Neuropsychoanalysis 2.
    Motivationally unconscious (M-unconscious) states are unconscious states that can directly motivate a subject’s behavior and whose unconscious character typically results from a form of repression. The basic argument for M-unconscious states claims that they provide the best explanation to some seemingly non rational behaviors, like akrasia, impulsivity or apparent self-deception. This basic argument has been challenged on theoretical, empirical and conceptual grounds. Drawing on recent works on apparent self-deception and on the ‘cognitive unconscious’ I assess those objections. I argue that (...)
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  5. Can Fregeans Have 'I'-Thoughts?Alexandre Billon & Marie Guillot - 2014 - Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad de Costa Rica (136):97-105.
    We examine how Frege’s contrast between identity judgments of the forms “a=a” vs. “a=b” would fare in the special case where ‘a’ and ‘b’ are complex mental representations, and ‘a’ stands for an introspected ‘I’-thought. We first argue that the Fregean treatment of I-thoughts entails that they are what we call “one-shot thoughts”: they can only be thought once. This has the surprising consequence that no instance of the “a=a” form of judgment in this specific case comes out true, let (...)
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