Schizophrenia and the Scaffolded Self
© The Author(s) 2018. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
A family of recent externalist approaches in philosophy of mind argues that our psychological capacities are synchronically and diachronically “scaffolded” by external (i.e., beyond-the-brain) resources. Despite much interest in this topic, however, it has not found its way to philosophy of psychiatry in a substantive way. I here consider how these “scaffolded” approaches to mind and self might inform debates in phenomenological psychopathology. First, I introduce the idea of “affective scaffolding”. I distinguish three forms of affective scaffolding and support this taxonomy by appealing to different sources of empirical work. Second, I put the idea of affective scaffolding to work. Using schizophrenia as a case study, I argue — along with others in phenomenological psychopathology — that schizophrenia is fundamentally a self-disturbance. However, I offer a subtle reconfiguration of these approaches. I argue that schizophrenia is not simply a disruption of ipseity or minimal self-consciousness but rather a disruption of the scaffolded self, established and regulated via its ongoing engagement with the world and others. I conclude that this way of thinking about the scaffolded self is potentially transformative both for our theoretical as well as practical understanding of the causes and character of schizophrenic experience, insofar as it suggests the need to consider new forms of intervention and treatment.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Springer Verlag via the DOI in this record
Published online 8 March 2018