Confabulation, confidence, and introspection

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Publication Type Journal Article
School or College College of Humanities
Department Philosophy
Creator Nichols, Shaun
Other Author Fiala, Brian
Title Confabulation, confidence, and introspection
Date 2009-04
Description Carruthers' arguments depend on a tenuous interpretation of cases from the confabulation literature. Specifically, Carruthers maintains that cases of confabulation are "subjectively indistinguishable" from cases of alleged introspection. However, in typical cases of confabulation, the self-attributions are characterized by low confidence, in contrast to cases of alleged introspection. What is confabulation? Carruthers' central argument hinges on this notion, so we need to get clear on what he has in mind. Carruthers doesn't present an explicit characterization, but the overall discussion suggests that the relevant confabulations are a class of first-person mental state attributions that are generated by an "interpretative" process, as opposed to an "introspective" process. By "interpretative," Carruthers means any process " that accesses information about the subject's current circumstances, or the subject's current or recent behavior, as well as any other information about the subject's current or recent mental life" (sect. 1.4, para. 3). This characterization seems too broad because introspection itself is supposed to be a process that accesses information about the subject's current mental life. But Carruthers means to count as interpretative only those processes that do not employ any "direct" access or any mechanism specifically dedicated to detecting one's current mental states. On Carruthers' view, all attributions of propositional attitude events are, in fact, interpretative. So what is the relation between "confabulation" and "interpretation"? Here are several different possibilities: 1. Confabulations include all self-attributions that result from interpretation. 2. Confabulations include all false self-attributions that result from interpretation, and accurate interpretative self-ascriptions do not count as confabulatory. 3. Confabulations include only a proper subset of false self-attributions resulting from interpretation.
Type Text
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Journal Title Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Volume 32
Issue 2
First Page 144
Last Page 145
DOI 10.1017/S0140525X09000624
citatation_issn 0140-525X
Subject Confabulation; Carruthers
Subject LCSH Confidence; Introspection; Self -- Philosophy
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation Fiala, B., & Nichols, S. (2009). Confabulation, confidence, and introspection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 32(2), 144-5.
Rights Management (c) Cambridge University Press Permission granted by Cambridge University Press for non-commercial, personal use only.
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 64,475 bytes
Identifier ir-main,11411
ARK ark:/87278/s6q536xg
Setname ir_uspace
Date Created 2012-06-13
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 704054
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