Illusionism: Making the Problem of Hallucinations Disappear

Dissertation, University of Miami (2014)
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My dissertation contributes to a central and ongoing debate in the philosophy of perception about the fundamental nature of perceptual states. Such states include cases like seeing, hearing, or tasting as well as cases of merely seeming to see, hear, or taste. A central question about perceptual states arises in light of misperceptual phenomena. A commonsensical view of perceptual states construes them as simply relating us to the external and mind independent objects. But some misperceptual cases suggest that these states fall short of contact with the world. The result is that perceptual states are either thought to fundamentally consist in a highest common factor that falls short of perceptual contact with the world, or are thought to be disjunctive in nature, with some cases involving perceptual contact, and others receiving a different analysis. Contrary to these views, I argue that no misperceptual cases compromise perceptual contact with worldly objects, so perceptual states should be understood as relations to the external and mind-independent world. I call this view I defend Pure Relationalism, and the view of misperceptual cases that makes pure relationalism possible Illusionism.

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Rami Ali
University of Arizona


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