In this book Daniel Wegner offers a novel understanding of the relation of consciousness, the will, and our intentional and voluntary actions. Wegner claims that our experience and common sense view according to which we can influence our behavior roughly the way we experience that we do it is an illusion.
Illusionism about phenomenal consciousness is the thesis that phenomenal consciousness does not exist, even though it seems to exist. This thesis is widely judged to be uniquely counterintuitive: the idea that consciousness is an illusion strikes most people as absurd, and seems almost impossible to contemplate in earnest. Defenders of illusionism should be able to explain the apparent absurdity of their own thesis, within their own framework. However, this is no trivial task: arguably, none of the illusionist theories currently (...) on the market is able to do this. I present a new theory of phenomenal introspection and argue that it might deal with the task at hand. (shrink)
As standardly conceived, an illusion is an experience of an object o appearing F where o is not in fact F. Paradigm examples of color illusion, however, do not fit this pattern. A diagnosis of this uncovers different sense of appearance talk that is the basis of a dilemma for the standard conception. The dilemma is only a challenge. But if the challenge cannot be met, then any conception of experience, such as representationalism, that is committed to the (...) standard conception is false. Perhaps surprisingly, naïve realism provides a better account of color illusion.An apparence ymaad by som Magyk. Chaucer. (shrink)
The Illusion of Doubt confronts one of the most important questions in philosophy and beyond: what can we know? The radical sceptic's answer is 'not very much' if we cannot prove that we are not subject to deception. For centuries philosophers have been impressed by the radical sceptic's move, but this book shows that the radical sceptical problem turns out to be an illusion created by a mistaken picture of our evidential situation. This means that we don't need (...) to answer the radical sceptical problem 'head on', but rather to undermine the philosophical assumptions that it depends on. For without these assumptions, radical scepticism collapses all by itself. This result is highly significant, as it manages to dissolve one of the most intractable philosophical problems that has bedevilled some of the greatest minds until the present day. (shrink)
Introducing the recent discovery of mental illusions or tricks played by the mind similar to optical illusions, a scientist explores the new concept in brain research and identifies "juror's fallacy," "predictability in hindsight," and "seven deadly mental sins.".
It is widely held that when you are deliberating about whether to believe some proposition p, only considerations relevant to the truth of p can be taken into account as reasons bearing on whether to believe p and motivate you accordingly. This thesis of exclusivity has significance for debates about the nature of belief, about control of belief, and about certain forms of evidentialism. In this paper I distinguish a strong and a weak version of exclusivity. I provide reason to (...) think that strong exclusivity is an illusion and that weak exclusivity may also be an illusion. I describe a number of cases in which exclusivity seems not to hold, and I show how an illusion of exclusivity may be generated by a rather different feature of doxastic deliberation, which I call demandingness. (shrink)
In this chapter I will employ a well-known scientific research heuristic that studies how something works by focusing on circumstances in which it does not work. Rather than trying to describe what scientific understanding would ideally look like, I will try to learn something about it by observing mundane cases where understanding is partly illusory. My main thesis is that scientists are prone to the illusion of depth of understanding (IDU), and as a consequence they sometimes overestimate the detail, (...) coherence, and depth of their understanding. I will analyze the notion of understanding and its relation to a sense of understanding. In order to make plausible the claim that these are often disconnected, I will describe an interesting series of psychological experiments by Frank Keil and his coauthors that suggests that ordinary people routinely overestimate the depth of their understanding. en I will argue that we should take seriously the possibility that scientific cognition is also aðected by IDU and spell out some possible causes of explanatory illusions in science. I will conclude this chapter by discussing how scientific explanatory practices could be improved and how the philosophy of science might be able to contribute to this process. (shrink)
In "What the Nose Doesn't Know", I argue that there are no olfactory illusions. Central to the traditional notions of illusion and hallucination is a notion of object-failure—the failure of an experience to represent particular objects. Because there are no presented objects in the case of olfactory experience, I argue that the traditional ways of categorizing non-veridical experience do not apply to the olfactory case. In their place, I propose a novel notion of non-veridical experience for the olfactory case. (...) In his (2011), Stevenson responds to my claim that there are no olfactory illusions. Although he agrees that it is natural—or at least commonplace—to think there are no olfactory illusions, he argues that there are and provides examples of them, many of which he suggests have analogues in the visual and auditory domains. In this paper, I examine the nature of the disagreement between us. I argue that Stevenson fails to argue against my conclusion that there are no olfactory illusions. (shrink)
Worlds where things divide forever ("gunk" worlds) are apparently conceivable. The conceivability of such scenarios has been used as an argument against "nihilist" or "near-nihilist" answers to the special composition question. I argue that the mereological nihilist has the resources to explain away the illusion that gunk is possible.
There is a widespread, popular view—and one I basically endorse—that Nietzsche is, in one sense of the word, a nihilist. As Arthur Danto put it some time ago, according to Nietzsche, “there is nothing in [the world] which might sensibly be supposed to have value.” As interpreters of Nietzsche, though, we cannot simply stop here. Nietzsche's higher men, Übermenschen, “genuine philosophers”, free spirits—the types Nietzsche wants to bring forth from the human, all-too-human herds he sees around him with the fish (...) hooks, as he says, of his books—seem to engage in what looks like valuing. These free spirits are supposed to revalue the old values—revaluing, as is clear from the texts, is not simply to remove the old values from circulation (Nietzsche uses “umwerten” and not “entwerten”)—and they are supposed to create new values. And, of course, Nietzsche himself, free spirit that he is, takes on the task of revaluing all values and seems to assert many a strident evaluation. So we need to say more here. What are Nietzsche and his free spirits up to when they engage in what looks, for all the world, like a practice of valuing? What is the practice of valuing Nietzsche is recommending for his free spirits? I argue for two claims: (i) First, we end up facing an interpretive puzzle when we attempt to explain how Nietzsche's free spirits are supposed to engage in a practice of valuing. (ii) Second, we can solve the interpretive puzzle by taking Nietzsche's free spirits to be engaged in a fictionalist simulacrum of valuing. (shrink)
The Modern Synthesis has dominated biology for 80 years. It was formulated in 1942, a decade before the major achievements of molecular biology, including the Double Helix and the Central Dogma. When first formulated in the 1950s these discoveries and concepts seemed initially to completely justify the central genetic assumptions of the Modern Synthesis. The Double Helix provided the basis for highly accurate DNA replication, while the Central Dogma was viewed as supporting the Weismann Barrier, so excluding the inheritance of (...) acquired characteristics. This article examines the language of the Modern Synthesis and reveals that it is based on four important misinterpretations of what molecular biology had shown, so forming the basis of the four Illusions: 1. Natural Selection; 2. The Weismann Barrier; 3. The Rejection of Darwin’s Gemmules; 4. The Central Dogma. A multi-level organisation view of biology avoids these illusions through the principle of biological relativity. Molecular biology does not therefore confirm the assumptions of the Modern Synthesis. (shrink)
In the absence of an objective contingency, psychological studies have shown that people nevertheless attribute outcomes to their own actions. Thus, by wrongly inferring control in chance situations people appear to hold false beliefs concerning their agency, and are said to succumb to an illusion of control (IoC). In the current article, we challenge traditional conceptualizations of the illusion by examining the thesis that the IoC reflects rational and adaptive decision making. Firstly, we propose that the IoC is (...) a by-product of a rational uncertain judgment (“the likelihood that I have control over a particular outcome”). We adopt a Bayesian perspective to demonstrate that, given their past experience, people should be prone to ascribing skill to chance outcomes in certain situations where objectively control does not exist. Moreover, existing empirical evidence from the IoC literature is shown to support such an account. Secondly, from a decision-theoretic perspective, in many consequential situations, underestimating the chance of controlling a situation carries more costs than overestimating that chance. Thus, situations will arise in which people will incorrectly assign control to events in which outcomes result from chance, but the attribution is based on rational processes. (shrink)
Many contemporary theorists charge that naïve realists are incapable of accounting for illusions. Various sophisticated proposals have been ventured to meet this charge. Here, we take a different approach and dispute whether the naïve realist owes any distinctive account of illusion. To this end, we begin with a simple, naïve account of veridical perception. We then examine the case that this account cannot be extended to illusions. By reconstructing an explicit version of this argument, we show that it depends (...) critically on the contention that perceptual experience is diaphanous, or more minimally and precisely, that there can be no difference in phenomenal properties between two experiences without a difference in the scenes presented in those experiences. Finding no good reason to accept this claim, we develop and defend a simple, naïve account of both veridical perception and illusion, here dubbed Simple, Austere Naïve Realism. (shrink)
Austere relationism rejects the orthodox analysis of hallucinations and illusions as incorrect perceptual representations. In this article, I argue that illusions of optimal motion present a serious challenge for this view. First, I submit that austere-relationist accounts of misleading experiences cannot be adapted to account for IOMs. Second, I show that any attempt at elucidating IOMs within an austere-relationist framework undermines the claim that perceptual experiences fundamentally involve relations to mind-independent objects. Third, I develop a representationalist model of IOMs. The (...) proposed analysis combines two ideas: Evans' dynamic modes of presentation and Fine's relational semantics for identity. (shrink)
Modern epistemology has run into several paradoxes in its efforts to explain how knowledge acquisition can be both socially based and still able to determine objective facts about the world. In this important book, Richmond Campbell attempts to dispel some of these paradoxes, to show how they are ultimately just "illusions of paradox," by developing ideas central to two of the most promising currents in epistemology: feminist epistemology and naturalized epistemology. Campbell's aim is to construct a coherent theory of knowing (...) that is feminist and "naturalized." Illusions of Paradox will be valuable for students and scholars of epistemology and women's studies. (shrink)
Temporal non-dynamists hold that there is no temporal passage, but concede that many of us judge that it seems as though time passes. Phenomenal Illusionists suppose that things do seem this way, even though things are not this way. They attempt to explain how it is that we are subject to a pervasive phenomenal illusion. More recently, Cognitive Error Theorists have argued that our experiences do not seem that way; rather, we are subject to an error that leads us (...) mistakenly to believe that our experiences seem that way. Cognitive Error Theory is a relatively new view and little has been said to explain why we make such an error, or where, in the cognitive architecture, such an error might creep in. In this paper we remedy this by offering a number of hypotheses about the source of error. In so doing we aim to show that Cognitive Error Theory is a plausible competitor to Phenomenal Illusion Theory. (shrink)
Recent debates between representational and relational theories of perceptual experience sometimes fail to clarify in what respect the two views differ. In this essay, I explain that the relational view rejects two related claims endorsed by most representationalists: the claim that perceptual experiences can be erroneous, and the claim that having the same representational content is what explains the indiscriminability of veridical perceptions and phenomenally matching illusions or hallucinations. I then show how the relational view can claim that errors associated (...) with perception should be explained in terms of false judgments, and develop a theory of illusions based on the idea that appearances are properties of objects in the surrounding environment. I provide an account of why appearances are sometimes misleading, and conclude by showing how the availability of this view undermines one of the most common ways of motivating representationalist theories of perception. (shrink)
Illusions are thought to make trouble for the intuition that perceptual experience is "open" to the world. Some have suggested, in response to the this trouble, that illusions differ from veridical experience in the degree to which their character is determined by their engagement with the world. An understanding of the psychology of perception reveals that this is not the case: veridical and falsidical perceptions engage the world in the same way and to the same extent. While some contemporary vision (...) scientists propose to draw the distinction between veridical experience and illusion in terms of the satisfaction or non-satisfaction of “hidden assumptions” deployed in the course of normal perceptual inference, I argue for a different approach. I contend that there are, in a sense, no illusions – illusions are as “open” as veridical experiences. Percepts lack the kinds of intentional content that would be needed for perceptual misrepresntation. My view gives a satisfying solution to a philosophical problem for disjunctivism about the good case/bad case distinction: with respect to illusions, every "bad case" of seeing an X can be equally well construed as a "good case" of seeing some Y (different from X). -/- . (shrink)
Wegner (Wegner, D. (2002). The illusion of conscious will. MIT Press) argues that conscious will is an illusion, citing a wide range of empirical evidence. I shall begin by surveying some of his arguments. Many are unsuccessful. But one—an argument from the ubiquity of self-interpretation—is more promising. Yet is suffers from an obvious lacuna, offered by so-called ‘dual process’ theories of reasoning and decision making (Evans, J., & Over, D. (1996). Rationality and reasoning. Psychology Press; Stanovich, K. (1999). (...) Who is rational? Studies of individual differences in reasoning. Lawrence Erlbaum; Frankish, K. (2004). Mind and supermind. Cambridge University Press). I shall argue that this lacuna can be filled by a plausible a priori claim about the causal role of anything deserving to be called ‘a will.’ The result is that there is no such thing as conscious willing: conscious will is, indeed, an illusion. (shrink)
We often feel that our perceptual experience is richer than what we can express. For instance, when flashed with a large set of letters, we feel that we can see them all, while we can report only a few. However, the nature of this subjective impression remains highly debated: while many favour a dissociation between two forms of consciousness , others contend that the richness of phenomenal experience is a mere illusion. Here we addressed this question with a classical (...) partial-report paradigm now modified to include unexpected items in the unreported parts of the stimuli. We show that even in the presence of unexpected pseudo-letters, participants still felt that there were only letters. Additionally, we show that this feeling reflects an illusion whereby participants reconstruct letters using partial letter-like information. We propose that the feeling of seeing emerges from the interplay between partially accessible information and expectations. (shrink)
It is common among philosophers who take an interest in the phenomenon of vagueness in natural language not merely to acknowledge higher-order vagueness but to take its existence as a basic datum— so that views that lack the resources to account for it, or that put obstacles in the way, are regarded as deficient just on that score. My main purpose in what follows is to loosen the hold of this deeply misconceived idea. Higher-order vagueness is no basic datum but (...) an illusion, fostered by misunderstandings of the nature of (ordinary, if you will ‘first-order’) vagueness itself. To see through the illusion is to take a step that is prerequisite for a correct understanding of vagueness, and for any satisfying dissolution of its attendant paradoxes. (shrink)
Illusionists claim that phenomenal consciousness does not exist, but merely seems to exist. Most debates concerning illusionism focus on whether or not it is true – whether phenomenal consciousness really is an illusion. Here I want to tackle a different question: assuming illusionism is true, what kind of illusion is the illusion of phenomenality? Is it a “rich” illusion – the cognitively impenetrable activation of an incorrect representation – or a “sparse” illusion – the cognitively (...) impenetrable activation of an incomplete representation, which leads to drawing incorrect judgments? I present this distinction and I classify the most influential illusionist theories along this line of divide. I then offer an argument against the accounts of the illusion of phenomenality in terms of sparse illusion. (shrink)
David Milner and Melvyn Goodale, and the many psychologists and philosophers who have been influenced by their work, claim that ‘the visual system that gives us our visual experience of the world is not the same system that guides our movements in the world’. The arguments that have been offered for this surprising claim place considerable weight on two sources of evidence — visual form agnosia and the reaching behaviour of normal subjects when picking up objects that induce visual illusions. (...) The present article shows that, if we are careful to consider the possibility that a demonstrative gesture can contribute content to a conscious experience, then neither source of evidence is compelling. (shrink)
Having direct doxastic control would not be particularly desirable if exercising it required a failure of epistemic rationality. With that thought in mind, recent writers have invoked the view that epistemic rationality gives us options to defend the possibility of a significant form of direct doxastic control. Specifically, they suggest that when the evidence for p is sufficient but not conclusive, it would be epistemically rational either to believe p or to be agnostic on p, and they argue that we (...) can in these cases effectively decide to form either attitude without irrationality. This paper argues against the version of epistemic permissivism invoked by these writers and shows that other plausible versions of permissivism do not support their cause. It concludes that if we can exercise direct doxastic control without irrationality, it is not because epistemic rationality gives us options. (shrink)
If you stare for a period of time at a scene which contains movement in one direction, and then turn your attention to an object in a scene which contains no movement, this object will appear to move in the opposite direction to that of the original movement. The effect can be easily achieved by attaching a piece of paper with a spiral drawn on it to the spinning turntable of a record player, and then turning the turntable off while (...) continuing to look at the spiral (see Frisby 1979, pp. 100-101 for a detailed descrip- tion of how to bring this about). But the illusion of movement can also occur when looking at a waterfall, for instance, and turning one's attention away from the waterfall to a stationary object such as a stone; hence its name - the 'Waterfall Illusion'. (shrink)
Three challenges to a unified understanding of delusions emerge from Radden's On Delusion (2011). Here, I propose that in order to respond to these challenges, and to work towards a unifying framework for delusions, we should see delusions as arising in inference under uncertainty. This proposal is based on the observation that delusions in key respects are surprisingly like perceptual illusions, and it is developed further by focusing particularly on individual differences in uncertainty expectations.
A central thesis of Frankish's argument for illusionism is the claim that illusionism is possibly true. This is what the realist about phenomenal consciousness must deny. Frankish's argument for that premise is based on a widely shared understanding of phenomenal consciousness as being a matter of certain events instantiating special properties. I argue that the illusionist's reasoning is difficult to avoid if one accepts this common account. A positive argument for the thesis that the mere possibility of illusionism can be (...) excluded is developed. It uses a proposal about how the notion of phenomenal consciousness should be taken to pick out the phenomenon it refers to. Given that account it becomes obvious that the illusionist cannot be understood as seriously accepting his own theory. The belief in illusionism thus turns out to be an illusion. (shrink)
Saul Smilansky presents an original new approach to the problem of free will, which lies at the heart of morality and self-understanding. He maintains that the key to the problem is the role played by illusion. Smilansky boldly claims that we could not live adequately with a complete awareness of the truth about human freedom and that illusion lies at the center of the human condition.
It's generally agreed that, for a certain a class of cases, a rational subject cannot be wrong in treating two elements of thought as co-referential. Even anti-individualists like Tyler Burge agree that empirical error is impossible in such cases. I argue that this immunity to empirical error is illusory and sketch a new anti-individualist approach to concepts that doesn't require such immunity.
This paper argues that episodic thoughts are always unconscious. Whether consciousness is understood in terms of global broadcasting/widespread accessibility or in terms of non-interpretive higher-order awareness, the conclusion is the same: there is no such thing as conscious thought. Arguments for this conclusion are reviewed. The challenge of explaining why we should all be under the illusion that our thoughts are often conscious is then taken up.
Written nearly fifty years ago, at a time when the world was still wrestling with the concepts of Marx and Lenin, 'The Illusion of the Epoch' is the perfect resource for understanding the roots of Marxism-Leninism and its implications for philosophy, modern political thought, economics, and history. As Professor Tim Fuller has written, this "is not an intemperate book, but rather an effort at a sustained, scholarly argument against Marxian views." Far from demonising his subject, Acton scrupulously notes where (...) Marx's account of historical and economic events and processes is essentially accurate. However, Acton also points out that Marx is generally right about things that were already widely known and accepted in his own time and indeed had been long understood in the nineteenth century. On the other hand, Acton shows that in many cases Marx either is simply wrong or has stated his views so as to render his theories immune to disproof. Acton also explains why the embodiment of Marxist-Leninist theory in an actual social order would require coercive support if it were not, sooner or later, to collapse of its own contradictions. (shrink)
The mental model theory postulates that reasoners build models of the situations described in premises, and that these models normally represent only what is true. The theory has an unexpected consequence. It predicts the existence ofillusions in inferences. Certain inferences should have compelling but erroneous conclusions. Two experiments corroborated the occurrence of such illusions in inferences about what is possible from disjunctions of quantified assertions, such as, “at least some of the plastic beads are not red.” Experiment 1 showed that (...) participants erroneously inferred that impossible situations were possible, and that possible situations were impossible, but that they performed well with control problems based on the same premises. Experiment 2 corroborated these findings in inferences from assertions based on dyadic relations, such as, “all the boys played with the girls.”. (shrink)
Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, declared that religion is a universal obsessional neurosis in his famous work of 1927, The Future of an Illusion. This work provoked immediate controversy and has continued to be an important reference for anyone interested in the intersection of philosophy, psychology, religion, and culture. Included in this volume is Oskar Pfister's critical engagement with Freud's views on religion. Pfister, a Swiss pastor and lay analyst, defends mature religion from Freud's "scientism." Freud's and Pfister's (...) texts have been updated in Gregory C. Richter's translations from the original German. (shrink)
Projecting Illusion offers a systematic analysis of the impression of reality in the cinema and the pleasure it gives to the film spectator. Film provides a compelling experience that can be considered as a form of illusion akin to the experience of day-dream and dream. Examining the concept of illusion and its relationship to fantasy in the experience of visual representation, Richard Allen situates his explanation within the context of an analytical criticism of contemporary film and critical (...) theory. He argues that many contemporary film theorists correctly identify the significance of the impression of reality, although their explanation of it is incorrect because of an invalid philosophical understanding of the relationship between the mind, representation and reality. Offering a clear presentation and critique of the central arguments of contemporary film and critical theory, Allen also touches on fundamental issues in current discourses of philosophy, art history and feminist theory. (shrink)
Since the first publication of Insight and Illusion in l972, a wealth of Wittgenstein's writings have become accessible. Accordingly, in this edition Professor Hacker has rewritten six of his eleven original chapters and revised the others to incorporate the new abundant material. Insight and Illusion now fully clarifies the historical backgrounds of Wittgenstein's highly different masterpieces, the Tractatus and the Investigations, and traces the evolution of Wittgenstein's thought. Hacker explains all of Wittgenstein's writings in detail, focusing on his (...) critique of metaphysics, his famous "private language argument," and his account of self-consciousness. (shrink)
Does the status of certain temporal experiences as illusory depend on one’s conception of time? Our concept of time in part determines our concept of what we hold to be real and unreal; what we hold to be real and unreal partially determines what we hold to be illusory; thus, our concept of time in part determines what we hold to be illusory. This paper argues that this dependency of illusions on the concept of time is applicable to illusions of (...) time. Two possible temporal illusions given the evidence are examined, simultaneity and the experience of the past; it is argued that the evidence points at temporal illusions depending on which conception of time is true. (shrink)
Emotions often misfire. We sometimes fear innocuous things, such as spiders or mice, and we do so even if we firmly believe that they are innocuous. This is true of all of us, and not only of phobics, who can be considered to suffer from extreme manifestations of a common tendency. We also feel too little or even sometimes no fear at all with respect to very fearsome things, and we do so even if we believe that they are fearsome. (...) Indeed, instead of shunning fearsome things, we might be attracted to them. Emotions that seem more thought-involving, such as shame, guilt or jealousy, can also misfire. You can be ashamed of your big ears even though we can agree that there is nothing shameful in having big ears, and even though you judge that having big ears does not warrant shame. And of course, it is also possible to experience too little or even no shame at all with respect to something that is really shameful. Many of these cases involve a conflict between one’s emotion and one’s evaluative judgement. Emotions that are thus conflicting with judgement can be called ‘recalcitrant emotions’. The question I am interested in is whether or not recalcitrant emotions amount to emotional illusions, that is, whether or not these cases are sufficiently similar to perceptual illusions to justify the claim that they fall under the same general heading. The answer to this depends on what emotions are. For instance, the view that emotions are evaluative judgments makes it difficult to make room for the claim that emotional errors are perceptual illusions. Fearing an innocuous spider would simply amount to making the error of judging that the spider is fearsome while it is in fact innocuous. This might involve an illusion of some sort, but it certainly does not amount to anything like a perceptual illusion. In this chapter, I argue that recalcitrant emotions are a kind of perceptual illusion.. (shrink)
It has been suggested that there maybe no olfactory illusions. This manuscript examines this claim and argues that it arises because olfactory illusions are not typically accompanied by an awareness of their illusory nature. To demonstrate that olfactory illusions do occur, the relevant empirical literature is reviewed, by examining instances of where the same stimulus results in different percepts, and of where different stimuli result in the same percept. The final part of the manuscript evaluates the evidence favoring the existence (...) of olfactory illusions, and then examines why they may not typically be accompanied by awareness. Three contributory mechanisms are discussed, relating to difficulty of verification and paucity of olfactory knowledge, the role of change blindness, and restricted access consciousness in this sense. (shrink)
Some philosophers argue that the principles of human reasoning are impeccable, and that mistakes are no more than momentary lapses in “information processing”. This article makes a case to the contrary. It shows that human reasoners commit systematic fallacies. The theory of mental models predicts these errors. It postulates that individuals construct mental models of the possibilities to which the premises of an inference refer. But, their models usually represent what is true in a possibility, not what is false. This (...) procedure reduces the load on working memory, and for the most part it yields valid inferences. However, as a computer program implementing the theory revealed, it leads to fallacious conclusions for certain inferences—those for which it is crucial to represent what is false in a possibility. Experiments demonstrate the variety of these fallacies and contrast them with control problems, which reasoners tend to get right. The fallacies can be compelling illusions, and they occur in reasoning based on sentential connectives such as “if” and “or”, quantifiers such as “all the artists” and “some of the artists”, on deontic relations such as “permitted” and “obligated”, and causal relations such as “causes” and “allows”. After we have reviewed the principal results, we consider the potential for alternative accounts to explain these illusory inferences. And we show how the illusions illuminate the nature of human rationality. (shrink)