On pink elephants, floating daggers, and other philosophical myths

Many philosophers and scientists rightly take hallucinations to be phenomena that challenge in a most pressing way our theories of perception and cognition, and epistemology in general. However, very few challenge the received views on the hallucinatory experience and even fewer critically delve into the subject with both breadth and depth. There are all kinds of problems concerning hallucinations—including conceptual, methodological, and empirical issues—that call for a multilevel analysis and an interdisciplinary approach which in turn provide the detail and scope that the subject demands. In this paper, I present and briefly discuss four interrelated problems: (1) definitions, (2) dependence on perception, (3) two views on hallucinations, and (4) methodology. Neglect or underestimation of these problems, among other things, continue to prevent a proper understanding of the concept and the corresponding experience, giving rise to misconceptions and even plain myths on the subject. Hallucinations do occur; but in order to productively investigate them (for whatever end), we first need to get clear on the concept and develop a suitable epistemological framework for their analysis.
Keywords Hallucinations  Perception  Cognition  Epistemology  Phenomenology  Hallucinogens
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA
    Fred I. Dretske (1978). Perception. International Studies in Philosophy 10:199-201.

    View all 10 references

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    6 ( #162,855 of 1,088,810 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,810 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.