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2016 - Volume 37, Number 1, Winter

Which Identification is Disturbed in Misidentification Syndromes? A Structural Analysis of Fregoli and Capgras Syndromes
Stéphane Thibierge, Université Paris-Diderot and Catherine Morin, Université Pierre et Marie Curie

Based on a structural reading of the first observations of Fregoli syndrome by Courbon and Fail in 1927, of Capgras syndrome by Capgras and Reboul–Lachaux in 1923, as well as two present-day cases, we show that the essential feature of Fregoli syndrome is the disjunction between recognition and identification, two terms that are far from being synonymous. Fregoli syndrome is not just of historical interest to today’s clinicians: it also allows us to separate out certain fundamental elements of what is ordinarily called recognition, elements that appear only in more indirect ways and latent forms in neurosis and in everyday psychopathology. The analysis of this syndrome therefore gives us access to the various elements of the matrix function for representation that Lacan described under the term specular knowledge.

All correspondence regarding this article should be addressed to Stéphane Thibierge, 11, rue Nicolas Charlet, 75015 Paris, France. Email: stephane.thibierge@wanadoo.fr

Does Functionalism Offer an Adequate Account of Cognitive Psychology?
James M. Stedman, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio and Thomas L. Spalding and Christina L. Gagné, University of Alberta

The majority of cognitive psychologists, when pressed, would hold for scientific realism as their philosophy of science and ontological position. However, it is functionalism which undergirds the ontology of scientific realism. Moreover, functionalists claim that cognitive psychology, including sensation, perception, memory, and the higher cognitive functions, can be fully accounted for by functionalism. The question is then: Is functionalism up to the task? Recently, Spalding and Gagné (2013) made the case that concept formation, a key element in all aspects of higher order cognition, can be better accounted for by an Aristotelian–Thomistic (A – T) meta-theory, and Stedman (2013) pointed out parallels between Aristotle’s model and current cognitive psychology. This essay argues that the A – T viewpoint is a better model for all elements of cognitive psychology.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to James M. Stedman, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78229-7792. Email: Stedman@uthscsa.edu

Consciousness is Not a Physically Provable Property
Catherine M. Reason, London, United Kingdom

I present a logical proof that computing machines, and by extension physical systems, can never be certain if they possess conscious awareness. This implies that human consciousness is associated with a violation of energy conservation. I examine the significance that a particular interpretation of quantum mechanics, known as single mind Q, might have for the detection of such a violation. Finally I apply single mind Q to the problem of free will as it arises in some celebrated experiments by Libet.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Catherine M. Reason, c/o Institute of Mind and Behavior, PO Box 552, Village Station, New York City, New York 10014. Email: cmrneuro@gmail.com

On the Appearance and Reality of Mind
Demian Whiting, University of Hull

According to what I will call the “appearance-is-reality doctrine of mind,” conscious mental states are identical to how they subjectively appear or present themselves to us in our experience of them. The doctrine has had a number of supporters but to date has not received from its proponents the comprehensive and systematic treatment that might be expected. In this paper I outline the key features of the appearance-is-reality doctrine along with the case for thinking that doctrine to be true. I also defend the doctrine from some objections. Finally, I spell out the important metaphysical and epistemological implications of the appearance-is-reality doctrine of mind.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Demian Whiting, Ph.D., School of Politics, Philosophy and International Studies, University of Hull, Kingston-upon-Hull HU6 7RX, United Kingdom. Email: d.whiting@hull.ac.uk


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