Brain Fiction: Self-Deception and the Riddle of by William Hirstein

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By William Hirstein

A few neurological sufferers convey a impressive tendency to confabulate—to build fake solutions to a question whereas surely believing that they're telling the reality. A stroke sufferer, for instance, will describe intimately a convention he attended over the weekend while actually he has now not left the clinic. common humans, too, occasionally tend to confabulate; instead of admitting "I don't know," a few humans will make up a solution or a proof and show it with whole conviction. In mind Fiction, William Hirstein examines confabulation and argues that its reasons aren't in simple terms technical matters in neurology or cognitive technology yet deeply revealing in regards to the constitution of the human intellect.

Hirstein describes confabulation because the failure of an ordinary checking or censoring method within the brain—the failure to acknowledge fake solution is fable, now not truth. hence, he argues, the artistic skill to build a plausible-sounding reaction and a few skill to envision that reaction are separate within the human mind. Hirstein sees the dialectic among the inventive and checking processes—"the internal dialogue"—as a tremendous a part of our psychological lifestyles. In developing a thought of confabulation, Hirstein integrates views from diversified fields, together with philosophy, neuroscience, and psychology to accomplish a common mixture of conceptual matters often handled by way of philosophers with in simple terms empirical matters; information regarding the distribution of convinced blood vessels within the prefrontal lobes of the mind, for instance, or the habit of split-brain sufferers can make clear the vintage questions of philosophy of brain, together with questions about the functionality of awareness. this primary book-length learn of confabulation breaks floor in either philosophy and cognitive technological know-how.

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Extra info for Brain Fiction: Self-Deception and the Riddle of Confabulation (Philosophical Psychopathology)

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Constructing a system of opposites also helps to provide a large conceptual space in which to place confabulation. The existence of such opposite or mirror-image syndromes also helps to dispel any notion that confabulation is somehow a universal feature of any sort of serious brain damage. Of course, there is no such thing as the opposite of something; rather, something is the opposite of another thing in a certain respect. One feature of confabulation is the confabulator’s claim that he has certain abilities that he in fact lacks, such as the ability to remember, to move his arm, or, in the case of split-brain patients, to explain why his left arm did something.

1. Do all behaviors referred to as confabulations involve the same brain malfunction? a. What are the important features of the phenomenon (or phenomena if it is not unitary)? b. What causes confabulation? c. Why does confabulation appear in so many disorders? d. Are there different subtypes of confabulation? What are they? e. What is the connection between confabulation and denial of illness? f. Why are some disabilities admitted and others denied? g. How can confabulation be prevented or treated?

The malfunctioning process in the case of con- 21 What Is Confabulation? fabulation may be one that allows people to attach doubt to ideas; confabulatory people do not experience doubt about their claims and ideas, whereas a normal person would. The claims are epistemically ill-grounded because they have not passed a review process that can result in doubt about them. That process does not function correctly because of brain damage. This is one way to explain the connection between confabulation and the disinhibition that frequently accompanies it; the doubt normal people feel when they consider certain ideas is caused by the same process that normally inhibits inappropriate responses.

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