[SydPhil] HPS Research Seminar Series 2013

Debbie Castle debbie.castle at sydney.edu.au
Thu Sep 5 14:43:26 AEST 2013

Dear All,

The next presentation in the HPS Research Seminar Series will be presented by:

Phil Gerrans (University of Adelaide)

Sense of Agency Lost and Found.


The experience of being in control of actions, the so called "sense of agency" is  normally automatic and effortless. It is also subtle and elusive: hard to notice in the flux of experience. Interestingly Schizophrenic delusions of alien control are often explained as described as resulting from a loss of this sense of agency and its replacement by a sense that other agents are in control.

These explanations are then extended to explain delusions of thought insertion: the idea is that normally there is a sense of agency for thoughts ( I “feel” that I am the agent of my thoughts) and  this feeling can go missing leading to the delusion that someone else is thinking the agent's thoughts.

I discuss some of the moves in this literature and offer very minimal  and critical account of the nature and causal structure of the sense of agency for actions and thoughts. The account makes use of the predictive coding model of cognitive processing and thus inherits all the pros and cons of that approach to understanding the mind.

Where : Science Meeting Room, 450. 4th Floor Carslaw Building. Camperdown Campus

When: Monday 9th September from 6pm

All are very welcome

Debbie Castle
Unit for History and Philosophy of Science

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