A sense of reality

In Fiona MacPherson & Dimitris Platchias (eds.), Hallucinations. MIT Press. pp. 399-417 (2014)
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Hallucinations occur in a wide range of organic and psychological disorders, as well as in a small percentage of the normal population According to usual definitions in psychology and psychiatry, hallucinations are sensory experiences which present things that are not there, but are nonetheless accompanied by a powerful sense of reality. As Richard Bentall puts it, “the illusion of reality ... is the sine qua non of all hallucinatory experiences” (Bentall 1990: 82). The aim of this paper is to find out what lends an experience ‘a sense of reality’: what features are required for an experience to feel ‘real’, in the relevant sense? I will investigate the claim that phenomenological features are largely responsible for a sense of reality, and will find this claim wanting. My suggestion is that a sense of reality is created and sustained by the larger nexus of the subject's beliefs.
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