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date: 24 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Thought insertion is a puzzling psychotic phenomenon that is usually considered a delusional belief and has specific diagnostic significance for schizophrenia; this article examines the phenomenology of thought insertion in terms of the senses of agency and ownership over thought and also in relation to hallucinations as a spectrum of unusual experiences, and argues that thought insertion is first and foremost a near-sensory experience before any secondary delusion formation. It goes on to outline the paradoxical nature of thought insertion when considered as a delusion and offers a new line of inquiry which views it a duplex phenomenon combining a generative sensory experience with an explanatory delusional elaboration. The article posits that by investigating the two related yet distinct layers of the same phenomenon in question, we will be able to better understand the subjective experience of thought insertion.

Keywords: psychosis, delusion formation, sense of self, hallucinations, phenomenology, immunity principle, thought interference

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