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Disturbed ConsciousnessNew Essays on Psychopathology and Theories of Consciousness$
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Rocco J. Gennaro

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029346

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029346.001.0001

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Somatoparaphrenia, Anosognosia, and Higher-Order Thoughts

Somatoparaphrenia, Anosognosia, and Higher-Order Thoughts

Chapter:
(p.55) 3 Somatoparaphrenia, Anosognosia, and Higher-Order Thoughts
Source:
Disturbed Consciousness
Author(s):

Rocco J. Gennaro

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262029346.003.0003

Rocco J. Gennaro defends the HOT theory of consciousness against the charge that it cannot account for somatoparaphrenia, a delusion where one denies ownership of a limb, and the related anosognosia, a condition in which a person who suffers from a disability seems unaware of the existence of the disability. Liang and Lane have argued that somatoparaphrenia threatens HOT theory because it contradicts the notion that according to HOT theory, when I am in a conscious state, I have the HOT that “I am in mental state M.” The ‘I’ is not only importantly self-referential but essential to tying the conscious state to oneself and thus to one’s ownership of M. Indeed, it is difficult to understand how one can have a conscious state but not, at least implicitly, attribute it to oneself. Gennaro argues, for example, that understanding somatoparaphrenia as a delusion leads to a number of replies to Lane and Liang. He also examines the central notions of “mental state ownership” and “self-concepts” to account especially for the depersonalization aspect of somatoparaphrenia. Among other things, Gennaro also discusses to what extent HOT theory can make sense of Shoemaker’s immunity to error through misidentification (IEM) principle.

Keywords:   Consciousness, Higher-Order Thoughts, HOT theory, Somatoparaphrenia, Anosognosia, Misidentification, Depersonalization, Self-concepts, Immunity to Error, Tim Lane

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