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Philosophy and Psychology

Fiona Macpherson

Publication Year: 2013

Reflection on the nature of hallucination has relevance for many traditional philosophical debates concerning the nature of the mind, perception, and our knowledge of the world. In recent years, neuroimaging techniques and scientific findings on the nature of hallucination, combined with interest in new philosophical theories of perception such as disjunctivism, have brought the topic of hallucination once more to the forefront of philosophical thinking. Scientific evidence from psychology, neuroscience, and psychiatry sheds light on the functional role and physiology of actual hallucinations; some disjunctivist theories offer a radically new and different philosophical conception of hallucination. This volume offers interdisciplinary perspectives on the nature of hallucination, offering essays by both scientists and philosophers.Contributors first consider topics from psychology and neuroscience, including neurobiological mechanisms of hallucination and the nature and phenomenology of auditory-verbal hallucinations. Philosophical discussions follow, with contributors first considering disjunctivism and then, more generally, the relation between hallucination and the nature of experience. <B>Contributors</B>István Aranyosi, Richard P. Bentall, Paul Coates, Fabian Dorsch, Katalin Farkas, Charles Fernyhough, Dominic H. ffytche, Benj Hellie, Matthew Kennedy, Fiona Macpherson, Ksenija Maravic da Silva, Peter Naish, Simon McCarthy-Jones, Matthew Nudds, Costas Pagondiotis, Ian Phillips, Dimitris Platchias, Howard Robinson, Susanna Schellenberg, Filippo Varese

Published by: The MIT Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

The traditional problem of hallucination in the philosophy of mind, and more particularly in the philosophy of perception and epistemology, has always attracted attention. However, over the last few years, neuroimaging techniques and scientific findings on the nature of hallucination, together with the upsurge of interest in new theories of perception in philosophy, ...


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pp. ix-x

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1. The Philosophy and Psychology of Hallucination: An Introduction

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pp. 1-38

Few phenomena have played such a vital role in shaping philosophical theories as hallucination, particularly theories in philosophy of mind, perception, and epistemology. When the ordinary man or woman in the street thinks of hallucination, a drug-fueled bizarre perceptual experience is conventionally what springs to mind. ...

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2. Introduction to the Chapters

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pp. 39-42

This volume is broadly divided into three parts. Part I comprises scientific papers written by psychologists and neuroscientists, and Parts II and III contain philosophy papers. The chapters of Part II center on the topic of disjunctivism, and those of Part III on the relation between hallucination and nature of experience more generally. ...

I: Psychology

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3. The Hallucinating Brain: Neurobiological Insights into the Nature of Hallucinations

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pp. 45-64

Charles Bonnet’s eighteenth-century philosophy of hallucinations was ahead of its time. Bonnet argued that hallucinations were caused by activity within specialized functional units serving both normal perception and hallucinations, a view largely supported by recent imaging evidence. ...

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4. Psychotic Hallucinations

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pp. 65-86

Hallucinations, especially in the auditory modality (hearing voices), are a common symptom of mental illness and are usually associated with the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Hence various types of hallucinatory experience — for example, audible thoughts or voices heard commenting on one’s actions — ...

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5. Thinking Aloud about Mental Voices

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pp. 87-104

There is a consensus that auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) stem from a misattribution of inner speech to an external agency. We consider whether a developmental view of inner speech can resolve some of the problems associated with inner-speech theories. ...

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6. The Neuropsychology of Visual Hallucinations in Parkinson’s Disease and the Continuum Hypothesis

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pp. 105-120

The present work investigated neuropsychological aspects of visual hallucinations (VHs) with a particular focus on hallucinations in Parkinson’s disease (PD). The first aim was to investigate the role of different neuropsychological risk factors in development of VHs in PD. ...

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7. Hallucinations in Hypnosis

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pp. 121-146

The nature of the hypnotic experience is discussed, drawing parallels between hypnotically induced hallucinations and those of conditions such as schizophrenia. A particularly striking parallel is highlighted: all conditions that provoke hallucinations seem to cause time distortion. ...

II: Philosophy: Reflections on Disjunctivism

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8. The Multidisjunctive Conception of Hallucination

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pp. 149-174

Direct realists think that we can’t get a clear view of the nature of hallucinating a white picket fence: Is it representing a white picket fence? Is it sensing white-picket-fencily? Is it being acquainted with a white ′picketed′ sense-datum? These are all epistemic possibilities for a single hallucination: ...

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9. Experience and Introspection

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pp. 175-220

One central fact about hallucinations is that they may be subjectively indistinguishable from perceptions. Indeed, it has been argued that the hallucinatory experiences concerned cannot — and need not — be characterized in any more positive general terms. ...

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10. Explanation in Good and Bad Experiential Cases

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pp. 221-254

Michael Martin aims to affirm a certain pattern of first-person thinking by advocating disjunctivism, a theory of perceptual experience that combines naive realism with the epistemic conception of hallucination. In this paper, I argue that we can affirm the pattern of thinking in question without the epistemic conception of hallucination. ...

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11. Silencing the Argument from Hallucination

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pp. 255-270

Ordinary people tend to be realists regarding perceptual experience; that is, they take perceiving the environment as a direct, unmediated, straightforward access to a mind-independent reality. Not so for (ordinary) philosophers. The empiricist influence on the philosophy of perception, in analytic philosophy at least, ...

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12. Naive Realism and Hallucinations

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pp. 271-290

All visual experiences present,1 or at least purport to present,2 mind-independent objects and their features and so seem to relate us to those objects and their features. Suppose, for example, that you are looking at a bowl of fruit on the table in front of you. ...

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13. Externalism and the Gappy Content of Hallucination

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pp. 291-312

When we suffer a nonveridical hallucination, our environment seems to be a way that it is not. Because we are not perceptually related to the objects that we seem to be perceiving, we fail to refer to particulars in our environment. How should we understand the effects of this failure of reference? ...

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14. The Failure of Disjunctivism to Deal with “Philosophers’ Hallucinations”

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pp. 313-330

I restate the causal-hallucinatory argument against naive realism. This argument depends on the possibility of “philosophers’ hallucinations.” I draw attention to the role of what I call the nonarbitrariness of philosophers’ hallucinations in supporting this argument. I then discuss three attempts to refute the argument. ...

III: Philosophy: The Nature of Experience

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15. Hearing and Hallucinating Silence

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pp. 333-360

Tradition has it that although we experience darkness, we can neither hear nor hallucinate silence. At most, we hear that it is silent, in virtue of lacking auditory experience. This cognitive view is at odds with our ordinary thought and talk. Yet it is not easy to vouchsafe the perception of silence: ...

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16. Hallucination, Mental Representation, and the Presentational Character

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pp. 361-380

In this paper, I argue that the indirect realists’ recourse to mental representations does not allow them to account for the possibility of hallucination, nor for the presentational character of visual experience. To account for the presentational character, I suggest a kind of intentionalism that is based on the interdependency between the perceived object and the embodied perceiver. ...

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17. Hallucinations and the Transparency of Perception

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pp. 381-398

This paper examines the way in which concepts of a low-level classificatory kind occur in different kinds of experiences, and what happens when subjects of deceptive musical hallucinations reassess their experiences and come to realize that they are hallucinating. ...

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18. A Sense of Reality

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pp. 399-416

Hallucinations occur in a wide range of organic and psychological disorders, as well as in a small percentage of the normal population (Bentall, 1990). According to usual definitions in psychology and psychiatry, hallucinations are sensory experiences that present things that are not there but are nonetheless accompanied by a powerful sense of reality. ...


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pp. 417-422

E-ISBN-13: 9780262315050
E-ISBN-10: 026231505X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780262019200

Page Count: 384
Publication Year: 2013