Exemption from Mutual Contradiction

One patient was an English gentleman in a neurological rehabilitation unit who had lived abroad for some years. Like all the other cases described in this section, he had bilateral medial frontal lesions (see Kaplan-Solms and Solms 2000, pp. 200-242). A close friend of his had died some 20 or 30 years previously, while they were both living in Kenya. One day he excitedly informed the staff that he had met a friend of his in the hospital. "Can you believe it," he said, "Phil Adams7 is here in the same unit as me. You know the chap I told you about who died in Kenya 20 years ago; it's wonderful to see him again." When questioned as to how Phil Adams could be in the hospital if he had died in Africa 20 years before, the patient stopped for a moment and said: "Yes, that must cause interesting legal problems—being dead in one country and alive in another." He was quite capable of accepting two mutually exclusive facts as being simultaneously true. In relation to an emotion-based account of confabulation, there are clear affective advantages to meeting old friends (even dead ones) when you are in hospital.

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