“Perception is controlled hallucination,” according to proponents of predictive processing accounts of vision. I say they are right that something like this is a consequence of their view but wrong in how they have pursued the idea. The focus of my counterproposal is the causal theory of perception, which I develop in terms of a productive concept of causation. Cases of what otherwise seem like successful perception are instead mere veridical hallucination if predictive processing accounts are correct, I argue, because of the role played within such accounts by absences, which cannot enter into productive causal relations.
I offer two arguments in support of the productive theory of perception. The first is loosely Kantian, focusing on the role that receptivity and spontaneity play in perception. The second focuses on what perception and hallucination have in common. I conclude with a series of objections and replies.