Review of Philosophy and Psychology

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 653–673 | Cite as

Inner Speech, Imagined Speech, and Auditory Verbal Hallucinations

  • Daniel GregoryEmail author


A theory which has had significant influence seeks to explain auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) as utterances in inner speech which are not properly monitored and are consequently misattributed to some external source. This paper argues for a distinction between inner speech and imagined speech, on the basis that inner speech is a type of actual speech. The paper argues that AVHs are more likely instances of imagined speech, rather that inner speech, which are not properly monitored (a possibility which has been raised by Wu (Mind & Language 27(1): 86–107, 2012), Cho and Wu (Frontiers in Psychiatry 4: 155, 2013) and Cho and Wu (Frontiers in Psychiatry 5: 75, 2014), although they prefer a quite different explanation of AVHs).


Schizophrenia Actual Speech Borderline Personality Disorder Internal Point Conscious Thought 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Some of the ideas in the paper were the basis of presentations at the University of Cambridge in April 2014 and the Australian National University in August 2014 and I am grateful for the feedback I received. I am indebted to the following people for valuable feedback on a plan and / or draft(s) and for helpful correspondence and discussions: Ben Alderson-Day, David Bain, Alma Barner, Mike Brady, David Chalmers, Jennifer Corns, Martin Davies, Charles Fernyhough, Frank Jackson, Fiona Macpherson, John Maier, D.H. Mellor, Matthew Ratcliffe, David Smailes, Kim Sterelny, Daniel Stoljar, Sam Wilkinson, two anonymous reviewers, and likely others whom I have forgotten. I am especially grateful to Daniel Stoljar for initially suggesting that I consider the relationship between inner speech and imagined speech. This research has been supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award.

Ethical Statement

Potential Conflicts of Interest


Research Involving Human Participants and/or Animals



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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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