Confabulation: good, bad, or inevitable?

Incurable confabulators Philosophers sometimes describe humans as rational animals. It would be more accurate to say that we are confabulating animals. The problem is that it is not always easy to distinguish our frequent practice of confabulation from the rare moments when we exercise our rationality. A provocative idea is …

False selves and fading selves

Do confabulatory explanations and memory distortions occurring in the clinical population have any epistemic benefits? Let’s start by considering evidence for the view that autobiographical memory is instrumental to self-knowledge and identity formation processes. Autobiographical memory encompasses memories of specific events (e.g. how I felt when I passed my driving …

Confabulatory explanations

Here are some examples of confabulatory explanations in the clinical population. In anosognosia people deny some serious impairment. When a person with a paralysed leg is asked why she cannot climb stairs, she may say she suffers from arthritis and she is less mobile as a result. In the Capgras delusion, people believe …

Epistemic definitions of delusion and confabulation

In my previous post I suggested that the epistemic faults listed in most definitions of delusions are not distinctive of delusions. Although delusions may diverge from norms of rationality to a greater extent than non-delusional beliefs, they are irrational in no special way. Excessively positive beliefs about ourselves, and widespread …

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