Review of Philosophy and Psychology

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 281–298 | Cite as

Higher-Order Thought, Self-Identification, and Delusions of Disownership

  • Michelle MaieseEmail author


David Rosenthal’s higher-order thought (HOT) theory says that for a mental state to be conscious, it must be accompanied by a higher-order thought about that state. One objection to Rosenthal’s account is that HOTs do not secure what Sydney Shoemaker has called ‘immunity to error through misidentification’ (IEM). I will argue that Rosenthal’s discussion of dissociative identity order fails to salvage his account from this objection and that his thin immunity principle is in tension with cases of somatoparaphrenia. Rather than showing that self-awareness consists in identification, an examination of the delusions of disownership found in dissociative identity disorder and somatoparaphrenia lends support to IEM and highlights an important distinction between perspectival ownership and personal ownership.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyEmmanuel CollegeBostonUSA

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