Edited by Jennifer Radden

in The Philosophy of Psychiatry

Published in print June 2004 | ISBN: 9780195149531
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199870943 | DOI:

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry


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This chapter explores the clinical phenomenology of symptoms such as hallucination, delusion, loosened associations, and pressure of thought that collectively make up what is termed as psychotic thinking (loss of contact with reality). It argues that psychotic thinking results from a loss of attunement between the cognitive skills of the psychotic person and those of others. The relevant skills are built on attentional control and selectivity that can be adjusted and refined in a social context so that the subject captures the same cues and constancies as those around them. Psychosis is a state in which attention is disrupted; the mechanisms do not function smoothly and do not adjust themselves to track conditions in the world in normal ways.

Keywords: psychoses; cognition; psychotic thinking; cognitive skills; attentional control; selectivity; attunement

Chapter.  7167 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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