Mind and Language 29 (5):590-612 (2014)

Michael Sollberger
University of Lausanne
Experiences of thought-insertion are a first-rank, diagnostically central symptom of schizophrenia. Schizophrenic patients who undergo such delusional mental states report being first-personally aware of an occurrent conscious thought which is not theirs, but which belongs to an external cognitive agent. Patients seem to be right about what they are thinking but mistaken about who is doing the thinking. It is notoriously difficult to make sense of such delusions. One general approach to explaining the etiology of monothematic delusions has come to be known as the endorsement model. This model claims that the patient holds her delusional belief because she simply trusts her bizarre experience and takes it at face value. The content of the bizarre experience thus plays a central role in the etiology of delusions. Despite being widely discussed with respect to delusions like Capgras and Cotard, an endorsement model of thought-insertion has not yet been formulated. This article seeks to fill this void by fleshing out and defending the endorsement approach to delusions of inserted thoughts. It aims to show that such an approach can be defended against objections that have been raised in the literature. In particular, it will be argued that there is nothing wrong with the idea of being first-personally aware of a thought which is presented in consciousness as being someone else's. The upshot is that with respect to delusions of thought-insertion, the endorsement model turns out to be a viable account of why patients come to believe that someone else is inserting thoughts into their minds
Keywords delusion  thought-insertion  schizophrenia  endorsement model
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/mila.12067
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,248
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Contents of Visual Experience.Susanna Siegel - 2010 - Oxford University Press USA.
General Psychopathology.Karl Jaspers - 1913 - Johns Hopkins University Press.
Self-Reference and Self-Awareness.Sydney S. Shoemaker - 1968 - Journal of Philosophy 65 (October):555-67.
Nonconceptual Content and the "Space of Reasons".Richard G. Heck - 2000 - Philosophical Review 109 (4):483-523.

View all 48 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

A Modified Self-Knowledge Model of Thought Insertion.Sruthi Rothenfluch - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (1):157-181.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Thought Insertion: Abnormal Sense of Thought Agency or Thought Endorsement?Paulo Sousa & Lauren Swiney - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (4):637-654.
A Role for Ownership and Authorship in the Analysis of Thought Insertion.Lisa Bortolotti & Matthew Broome - 2009 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (2):205-224.
Thought Insertion and Self-Knowledge.Jordi Fernández - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (1):66-88.
On Thought Insertion.Christoph Hoerl - 2001 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 8 (2-3):189-200.
Thought Insertion, Self-Awareness, and Rationality.Johannes Roessler - 2013 - In K. W. M. Fulford (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry. Oxford University Press. pp. 658–672.
Thought Insertion and the Inseparability Thesis.Paul J. Gibbs - 2000 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 7 (3):195-202.
Commentary on Synofzik, Vosgerau and Newen.Glenn Carruthers - 2009 - Consciousness and Cognition 18 (2):515 - 520.
Thought Insertion as a Disownership Symptom.Michelle Maiese - 2015 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (4):911-927.


Added to PP index

Total views
63 ( #183,106 of 2,518,495 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #271,901 of 2,518,495 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes