The Measure of Madness

The Measure of Madness
Author: Philip Gerrans
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 304
Release: 2014-07-03
Genre: Philosophy
ISBN: 9780262027557

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Drawing on the latest work in cognitive neuroscience, a philosopher proposes that delusions are narrative models that accommodate anomalous experiences. In The Measure of Madness, Philip Gerrans offers a novel explanation of delusion. Over the last two decades, philosophers and cognitive scientists have investigated explanations of delusion that interweave philosophical questions about the nature of belief and rationality with findings from cognitive science and neurobiology. Gerrans argues that once we fully describe the computational and neural mechanisms that produce delusion and the way in which conscious experience and thought depend on them, the concept of delusional belief retains only a heuristic role in the explanation of delusion. Gerrans proposes that delusions are narrative models that accommodate anomalous experiences. He argues that delusions represent the operation of the Default Mode Network (DMN)—the cognitive system that provides the raw material for humans' inbuilt tendency to provide a subjectively compelling narrative context for anomalous or highly salient experiences—without the “supervision” of higher cognitive processes present in the nondelusional mind. This explanation illuminates the relationship among delusions, dreams, imaginative states, and irrational beliefs that have perplexed philosophers and psychologists for over a century. Going beyond the purely conceptual and the phenomenological, Gerrans brings together findings from different disciplines to trace the flow of information through the cognitive system, and applies these to case studies of typical schizophrenic delusions: misidentification, alien control, and thought insertion. Drawing on the interventionist model of causal explanation in philosophy of science and the predictive coding approach to the mind influential in computational neuroscience, Gerrans provides a model for integrative theorizing about the mind.

Mental Time Travel

Mental Time Travel
Author: Kourken Michaelian
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 312
Release: 2016-02-19
Genre: Psychology
ISBN: 9780262334587

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Drawing on current research in psychology, a new philosophical account of remembering as imagining the past. In this book, Kourken Michaelian builds on research in the psychology of memory to develop an innovative philosophical account of the nature of remembering and memory knowledge. Current philosophical approaches to memory rest on assumptions that are incompatible with the rich body of theory and data coming from psychology. Michaelian argues that abandoning those assumptions will result in a radically new philosophical understanding of memory. His novel, integrated account of episodic memory, memory knowledge, and their evolution makes a significant step in that direction. Michaelian situates episodic memory as a form of mental time travel and outlines a naturalistic framework for understanding it. Drawing on research in constructive memory, he develops an innovative simulation theory of memory; finding no intrinsic difference between remembering and imagining, he argues that to remember is to imagine the past. He investigates the reliability of simulational memory, focusing on the adaptivity of the constructive processes involved in remembering and the role of metacognitive monitoring; and he outlines an account of the evolution of episodic memory, distinguishing it from the forms of episodic-like memory demonstrated in animals. Memory research has become increasingly interdisciplinary. Michaelian's account, built systematically on the findings of empirical research, not only draws out the implications of these findings for philosophical theories of remembering but also offers psychologists a framework for making sense of provocative experimental results on mental time travel.

Becoming Human

Becoming Human
Author: Jennifer Greenwood
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 272
Release: 2015-12-11
Genre: Philosophy
ISBN: 9780262029780

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A novel, wide-ranging, and comprehensive account of how human emotionality develops, proposing a process in which "nature" and "nurture" are integrated.

Information Consciousness Reality

Information   Consciousness   Reality
Author: James B. Glattfelder
Publsiher: Springer
Total Pages: 662
Release: 2019-04-10
Genre: Science
ISBN: 9783030036331

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This open access book chronicles the rise of a new scientific paradigm offering novel insights into the age-old enigmas of existence. Over 300 years ago, the human mind discovered the machine code of reality: mathematics. By utilizing abstract thought systems, humans began to decode the workings of the cosmos. From this understanding, the current scientific paradigm emerged, ultimately discovering the gift of technology. Today, however, our island of knowledge is surrounded by ever longer shores of ignorance. Science appears to have hit a dead end when confronted with the nature of reality and consciousness. In this fascinating and accessible volume, James Glattfelder explores a radical paradigm shift uncovering the ontology of reality. It is found to be information-theoretic and participatory, yielding a computational and programmable universe.

The Disordered Mind

The Disordered Mind
Author: George Graham
Publsiher: Routledge
Total Pages: 287
Release: 2013
Genre: Philosophy
ISBN: 9780415501248

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The Disordered Mind: An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Mental Illness, second edition examines and explains, from a philosophical standpoint, what mental disorder is: its reality, causes, consequences, and more. It is also an outstanding introduction to philosophy of mind from the perspective of mental disorder. Revised and updated throughout, this second edition includes new discussions of grief and psychopathy, the problems of the psychophysical basis of disorder, the nature of selfhood, and clarification of the relation between rationality and mental disorder. Each chapter explores a central question or problem about mental disorder, including: what is mental disorder and can it be distinguished from neurological disorder? what roles should reference to psychological, cultural, and social factors play in the medical/scientific understanding of mental disorder? what makes mental disorders undesirable? Are they diseases? mental disorder and the mind–body problem is mental disorder a breakdown of rationality? What is a rational mind? addiction, responsibility and compulsion ethical dilemmas posed by mental disorder, including questions of dignity and self-respect. Each topic is clearly explained and placed in a clinical and philosophical context. Mental disorders discussed include clinical depression, dissociative identity disorder, anxiety, religious delusions, and paranoia. Several non-mental neurological disorders that possess psychological symptoms are also examined, including Alzheimer's disease, Down's syndrome, and Tourette's syndrome. Containing chapter summaries and suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter, The Disordered Mind, second edition is a superb introduction to the philosophy of mental disorder for students of philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, and related mental health professions.

A Philosophy of Madness

A Philosophy of Madness
Author: Wouter Kusters
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 800
Release: 2020-12-01
Genre: Philosophy
ISBN: 9780262044288

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The philosophy of psychosis and the psychosis of philosophy: a philosopher draws on his experience of madness. In this book, philosopher and linguist Wouter Kusters examines the philosophy of psychosis—and the psychosis of philosophy. By analyzing the experience of psychosis in philosophical terms, Kusters not only emancipates the experience of the psychotic from medical classification, he also emancipates the philosopher from the narrowness of textbooks and academia, allowing philosophers to engage in real-life praxis, philosophy in vivo. Philosophy and madness—Kusters's preferred, non-medicalized term—coexist, one mirroring the other. Kusters draws on his own experience of madness—two episodes of psychosis, twenty years apart—as well as other first-person narratives of psychosis. Speculating about the maddening effect of certain words and thought, he argues, and demonstrates, that the steady flow of philosophical deliberation may sweep one into a full-blown acute psychotic episode. Indeed, a certain kind of philosophizing may result in confusion, paradoxes, unworldly insights, and circular frozenness reminiscent of madness. Psychosis presents itself to the psychotic as an inescapable truth and reality. Kusters evokes the mad person's philosophical or existential amazement at reality, thinking, time, and space, drawing on classic autobiographical accounts of psychoses by Antonin Artaud, Daniel Schreber, and others, as well as the work of phenomenological psychiatrists and psychologists and such phenomenologists as Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. He considers the philosophical mystic and the mystical philosopher, tracing the mad undercurrent in the Husserlian philosophy of time; visits the cloud castles of mystical madness, encountering LSD devotees, philosophers, theologians, and nihilists; and, falling to earth, finds anxiety, emptiness, delusions, and hallucinations. Madness and philosophy proceed and converge toward a single vanishing point.

Unusual and Rare Psychological Disorders

Unusual and Rare Psychological Disorders
Author: Brian A. Sharpless
Publsiher: Oxford University Press
Total Pages: 392
Release: 2016-12-01
Genre: Electronic Book
ISBN: 9780190245863

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Many fascinating and important psychological disorders are either omitted from our current diagnostic systems or rarely covered during graduate or medical training. As a result, most mental health students and trainees are never taught to identify, diagnose, or treat them. This lack of attention has real-world consequences not only for patients, but for basic science as well. Unusual and Rare Psychological Disorders collects and synthesizes the scientific and clinical literatures for 21 lesser-known conditions. The coverage is broad, ranging from exploding head syndrome and koro to body integrity identity disorder and persistent genital arousal disorder. All chapters follow a uniform structure and introduce each disorder with a vivid clinical vignette. After discussing the historical and cultural contexts for the disorder, authors describe the typical symptoms, associated features, current role in diagnostic systems (if any), and etiologies. Clinically relevant information on assessment and differential diagnosis is also provided. Finally, authors review the treatment options and suggest future directions for research. This unique and engaging volume will not only be a useful resource for researchers and clinicians who already possess expertise in the more well-known manifestations of psychopathology, but it will also be of interest to students and trainees in the mental health professions.

Real Hallucinations

Real Hallucinations
Author: Matthew Ratcliffe
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 304
Release: 2017-09-22
Genre: Psychology
ISBN: 9780262036719

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A philosophical account of the structure of experience and how it depends on interpersonal relations, developed through a study of auditory verbal hallucinations and thought insertion. In Real Hallucinations, Matthew Ratcliffe offers a philosophical examination of the structure of human experience, its vulnerability to disruption, and how it is shaped by relations with other people. He focuses on the seemingly simple question of how we manage to distinguish among our experiences of perceiving, remembering, imagining, and thinking. To answer this question, he first develops a detailed analysis of auditory verbal hallucinations (usually defined as hearing a voice in the absence of a speaker) and thought insertion (somehow experiencing one's own thoughts as someone else's). He shows how thought insertion and many of those experiences labeled as “hallucinations” consist of disturbances in a person's sense of being in one type of intentional state rather than another. Ratcliffe goes on to argue that such experiences occur against a backdrop of less pronounced but wider-ranging alterations in the structure of intentionality. In so doing, he considers forms of experience associated with trauma, schizophrenia, and profound grief. The overall position arrived at is that experience has an essentially temporal structure, involving patterns of anticipation and fulfillment that are specific to types of intentional states and serve to distinguish them phenomenologically. Disturbances of this structure can lead to various kinds of anomalous experience. Importantly, anticipation-fulfillment patterns are sustained, regulated, and disrupted by interpersonal experience and interaction. It follows that the integrity of human experience, including the most basic sense of self, is inseparable from how we relate to other people and to the social world as a whole.