The Extended Mind Hypothesis, Selfhood and Schizophrenia: How can the pathological experiences of a schizophrenic’s selfhood be interpreted, and, do particular treatments of these pathologies accord with Clark and Chalmers’ extended mind hypothesis?
Shute, Timothy Edward
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This thesis explores the pathological experiences of selfhood in schizophrenia and how this can be applied to a model of ‘mind’ in which ‘mind’ is constituted of both the biological brain and external materials. The aim of this paper is not to provide a systematic taxonomy of schizophrenia (i.e. a psychological assessment), although such discussion is included. Rather, its focus is on how schizophrenic symptomology can manipulate and disrupt the self-world relations with which humans are so accustomed. Firstly, it explores how this mental illness can disrupt the first-person perspective and the implications this entails for ‘selfhood’, leading this paper to advocate an embodied form of selfhood: ‘the SCALED self’. Secondly, it investigates how the schizophrenic’s ‘mind’ and/or ‘selfhood’ becomes coupled to therapeutic strategies during psychotherapy and bodily-orientated therapy and argues for possible cases of extended SCALED selfhood. Finally, it argues extension occurs during a newly-developed clinical treatment: avatar therapy. An application of extended mind theory to schizophrenic pathologies within this text brings to fruition new additional conceptual resources for phenomenological psychopathology. It further explains how patients develop different kinds of cognitive capabilities and behaviours during therapies, ultimately explaining their success.
MbyRes in Philosophy