How to account for illusion

In Adrian Haddock & Fiona Macpherson (eds.), Disjunctivism: Perception, Action, Knowledge. Oxford University Press. pp. 168-180 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The question how to account for illusion has had a prominent role in shaping theories of perception throughout the history of philosophy. Prevailing philosophical wisdom today has it that phenomena of illusion force us to choose between the following two options. First, reject altogether the early modern empiricist idea that the core subjective character of perceptual experience is to be given simply by citing the object presented in that experience. Instead we must characterize perceptual experience entirely in terms of its representational content. Second, retain the early modern idea that the core subjective character of experience is simply constituted by the identity of its direct objects, but admit that these must be mind-dependent entities, distinct from the mind-independent physical objects we all know and love. I argue here that the early modern empiricists had an indispensable insight. The idea that the core subjective character of perceptual experience is to be given simply by citing the object presented in that experience is more fundamental than any appeal to perceptual content, and can account for illusion, and indeed hallucination, without resorting to the problematic postulation of any such mind-dependent objects.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,654

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Experience and Intentional Content.Ian Phillips - 2005 - Dissertation, Oxford University
Direct realism and perceptual consciousness.Susanna Siegel - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (2):378-410.
Introduction: Perceptual experience.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2006 - In John Hawthorne & Tamar Szabó Gendler (eds.), Perceptual Experience. Oxford University Press. pp. 1--30.
Perception, generality, and reasons.Hannah Ginsborg - 2011 - In Andrew Evan Reisner & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.), Reasons for Belief. Cambridge University Press. pp. 131--57.
What the Nose Doesn't Know: Non-Veridicality and Olfactory Experience.Clare Batty - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (3-4):10-17.


Added to PP

464 (#35,883)

6 months
23 (#97,294)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Bill Brewer
King's College London

Citations of this work

Attention and mental paint1.Ned Block - 2010 - Philosophical Issues 20 (1):23-63.
Perception and content.Bill Brewer - 2006 - European Journal of Philosophy 14 (2):165-181.
Naïve realism and phenomenal similarity.Sam Clarke & Alfonso Anaya - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 66 (5):885-902.
Color Illusion.Mark Eli Kalderon - 2011 - Noûs 45 (4):751-775.

View all 41 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references