Thought insertion and disturbed for-me-ness (minimal selfhood) in schizophrenia

Mads Gram Henriksen*, Josef Parnas, Dan Zahavi

*Corresponding author for this work
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In contemporary consciousness research, we have defended a position of experiential minimalism, arguing that for-me-ness (or minimal selfhood) is a necessary, universal feature of phenomenal consciousness. The concept of for-me-ness refers to the fact that experiences are given first-personally to the subject of experience. To challenge the universality of for-me-ness, several authors have referred to the case of thought insertion as a clear counter example. In this study, we address and refute the claim that episodes of thought insertion represent examples of experiences lacking for-me-ness. We highlight certain unaddressed methodological and psychopathological problems that tend to hamper philosophical discussions of thought insertion. Although thought insertion does not involve a lack of for-me-ness, we do argue that thought insertion involves a disturbed for-me-ness. Finally, we offer a novel account of how for-me-ness is disturbed in schizophrenia spectrum disorders and we discuss how a disturbed for-me-ness may be involved in the formation of thought insertion.

Original languageEnglish
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Pages (from-to)102770
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019


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