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date: 18 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Phenomenology and cognitive science reviews the relationship between first- and second-person phenomenological descriptions of experience, and third-person cognitive explanations in the context of psychopathology. Taking schizophrenic symptoms of delusions of control and thought insertion as examples, this chapter addresses the question of whether we should take phenomenological reports in clinical settings at face value or interpret them informed by wider context and/or scientific background. The chapter also looks at how phenomenological analysis can contribute to empirical studies of the experiences of agency and ownership, and to the development of cognitive theory that seeks to explain delusional disorders of such experiences. It is argued that the interpretation of patients’ phenomenological reports can motivate empirical experiments that seek to identify processes that might contribute to explaining anomalous or alien experience and that communication between phenomenology, cognitive science, and psychiatry involves a multi-directional mutual enlightenment.

Keywords: phenomenology, cognitive science, schizophrenia, delusions of control, thought insertion, agency, ownership

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