Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> 
> 
> On 2/22/07, *Brent Meeker* <[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
> <mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]>> wrote:
> 
>     Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> 
>      > A patient says that his leg is paralysed, behaves as if his leg is
>      > paralysed, but the clinical signs and investigations are not
>     consistent
>      > with 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 is made: that is, they aren't
>      > hearing voices that aren't there, they only *think* they're hearing
>      > voices that aren't there.
> 
>     How is this diagnosis made?  It sounds like an impossible
>     distinction - a scientific resolution of the zombie question.
> 
> 
> The diagnosis of "pseudohallucinations" is made if they don't have the 
> characteristics typical of hallucinations in schizophrenia - that is, 
> there are third person observable differences. Without these differences 
> it would be impossible to tell and, since psychiatry at least aspires to 
> be an empirical science, the possibility is generally ignored. However, 
> you can have delusions about anything, so it should be at least 
> theoretically possible to have a delusion that you are having a 
> perception. Patients frequently report delusional memories of 
> perceptions: that is, they insist that they had a conversation or 
> experience that they could not even have hallucinated, because they were 
> under observation at the time of the alleged incident. Suppose this 
> process is happening "live", so that they believe they are hearing a 
> voice and responding as if they are hearing a voice even though they are 
> not even hallucinating such a thing. We might speculate that the actual 
> experience would surely feel different to the mere belief that they are 
> having the experience, but if they could notice such a difference they 
> would not be deluded.
> 
> Stathis Papaioannou

This comports with the idea that consciousness is a process of making up a 
narrative history of what the brain's various functional modules considered 
most important at a given time in order to commit it to memory.  I first 
learned of this theory from John McCarthy's discussion of how to make a 
conscious robot - but I don't know that he originated it.  If it is correct 
then a malfunction of the brain might cause a narrative to be confabulated that 
had nothing to do with perception - even perceptions that were acted on 
appropriately.

Brent Meeker

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