Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
>On 2/21/07, Jesse Mazer <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> >
> > Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > >It is a complicated issue. Patients with psychotic illnesses can
> > sometimes
> > >reflect on a past episode and see that they were unwell then even 
> > >they insisted they were not at the time. They then might say something
> > >like,
> > >"I don't know I'm unwell when I'm unwell, but when I'm well I know I'm
> > >well". OK, but then how do you know that you're not unwell now? How do 
> > >know I'm not unwell now? We rely on other people telling us (although 
> > >course we won't believe them if we lack insight into our own illness),
> > but
> > >in the example of fading qualia we would (a) not notice that the qualia
> > >were
> > >fading, a kind of delusion or anosognosia, and (b) no-one else would
> > notice
> > >either, because by whatever mechanism the external appearance of
> > conscious
> > >behaviour would be kept up. So how do I know I'm not that special kind 
> > >zombie or partial zombie now? I feel absolutely sure that I am not but
> > then
> > >I would think that, wouldn't I? The fact is, it happens all the time, 
> > at
> > >least 1% of the population.
> > >
> > >Stathis Papaioannou
> >
> > But are you claiming that psychotic patients not only are mistaken about
> > what's going on in the external world, but are mistaken about the actual
> > qualia they experience? i.e. if a psychotic says he's hearing voices and
> > thinks they are martians sending him messages via microwaves, not only 
> > he
> > mistaken that the voices come from martians as opposed to being
> > hallucinations, but he's mistaken that he's having the subjective
> > experience
> > of hearing voices in the first place? I've never heard of a condition 
> > that...your example of recognizing one was unwell in the past is more 
> > recognizing the things one was hearing and seeing were hallucinatory
> > rather
> > than accurate perceptions of the external world, not recognizing that 
> > was not hearing and seeing anything at all, even hallucinations.
> >
> > Jesse
>A patient says that his leg is paralysed, behaves as if his leg is
>paralysed, but the clinical signs and investigations are not consistent 
>a paralysed leg. The diagnosis of hysterical paralysis is made. A patient
>claims to hear voices of people nobody else sees, responds to the voices as
>if they are there, but the clinical signs and response to antipsychotic
>treatment is not consistent with the auditory hallucinations experienced by
>peopel with psychotic illness. The diagnosis of hysterical hallucinations 
>made: that is, they aren't hearing voices that aren't there, they only
>*think* they're hearing voices that aren't there.

But where did you get the idea that hysterics are thought to be incorrect 
about their own qualia? Is this something you've read in an authoritative 
source, or your own inference, or something else? I had always understood 
hysterical illnesses to be something like auto-hypnosis, and if you put 
someone under hypnosis and tell them that they are hearing voices or that a 
limb is paralyzed, even after they are taken out of hypnosis they will 
report that they were really hearing the voices and really feeling nothing 
in the limb (it is even sometimes possible to use hypnosis as an alternative 
to anaesthesia during surgery--certainly the people who do this don't later 
claim that they really were in excruciating pain but were just temporarily 
deluded into acting as if they weren't!) Also, some early attempts to scan 
the brains of people under hypnosis seem consistent with the idea that there 
brain is responding as if they really were experiencing whatever they were 
hypnotized to experience--in the experiment I read about, when given the 
"Stroop task" where subjects have to identify the colors of words even when 
the words themselves stand for different colors (like the word 'red' with 
the letters in blue), if the subjects were hypnotized to see the words as 
gibberish, then there was decreased activity in the part of the brain that 
deals with conflict resolution and they were able to complete the task 
significantly faster (see 
for some more details). It would be interesting to do a similar experiment 
where a patient was hypnotized into feeling blind or paralyzed, and then 
expose them to visual or tactile stimuli--I would predict that activity in 
the corresponding sensory areas of the brain would be at least suppressed, 
even if not necessarily quite as low as in a person who had actually been 
blinded or paralyzed.


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