Dokument: Thought Insertion, Immunity to Error through Misidentification, and Self-Knowledge

Titel:Thought Insertion, Immunity to Error through Misidentification, and Self-Knowledge
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URN (NBN):urn:nbn:de:hbz:061-20141218-104731-9
Dokumententyp:Wissenschaftliche Abschlussarbeiten » Dissertation
Autor: Seeger, Max [Autor]
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Dateien vom 08.12.2014 / geändert 08.12.2014
Beitragender:Prof. Dr. Vosgerau, Gottfried [Gutachter]
Stichwörter:thought insertion, immunity to error through misidentification, self-knowledge, self-consciousness
Dewey Dezimal-Klassifikation:100 Philosophie und Psychologie » 190 Moderne westliche Philosophie
Beschreibung:The question of this book is whether the so called Immunity Thesis holds, i.e. the thesis that introspection-based self-ascriptions of mental states are immune to error through misidentification. Very roughly, Immunity states that in self-ascribing a mental state one cannot be wrong about whose mental state it is. For instance, my belief that I am hungry may be mistaken about the state I am in (I may have mistaken my tiredness for hunger), but it couldn’t be mistaken about it being me that is (or seems to be) hungry.
In particular, I ask whether thought insertion and similar pathologies of alienation present counterexamples to Immunity. Thought insertion, anarchic hand syndrome, made impulses, and somatoparaphrenia seem to undermine Immunity since, in these phenomena, subjects misidentify whose thoughts, actions, or sensations they are aware of. However, I argue in a first step that, in their most simple form, the counterexamples miss their target. The judgments involved in alienation are either not introspection-based self-ascriptions, and therefore do not fall within the scope of Immunity, or are not in error through misidentification.
In a second step, I offer a more refined critique from alienation which essentially targets the idea that introspection is identification-free. In response to that critique, I distinguish between two approaches on what it means to be in error through misidentification. The epistemic approach understands error through misidentification as a judgment’s being epistemically based on a false identification and consequently equates immunity with epistemic identification-freedom; the ontological approach understands error through misidentification as the divergence of source and target (i.e. the object from which the predication information derives is distinct from the object to which the property is ascribed). I argue that the refined critique undermines Epistemic Immunity, but does not challenge Ontological Immunity.
My defense of Ontological Immunity offers an explanation of Immunity that does without the assumption of identification-freedom, but is based on the idea that introspection implies ownership of a mental state. This explanation dovetails perfectly with the idea that different kinds of self-ascriptions enjoy varying degrees of immunity. Hence, my result is that, depending on what kind of mental state is self-ascribed, introspection-based self-ascriptions are immune to error through misidentification in the sense that they cannot (with varying degrees of modal force) be wrong about it being one’s own mental state.
Fachbereich / Einrichtung:Philosophische Fakultät » Philosophisches Institut
Dokument erstellt am:18.12.2014
Dateien geändert am:18.12.2014
Promotionsantrag am:07.07.2014
Datum der Promotion:25.11.2014
Status: Gast