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Elizabeth Akins

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195084627

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195084627.001.0001

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Lewis on What Distinguishes Perception from Hallucination

Lewis on What Distinguishes Perception from Hallucination

(p.198) 9 Lewis on What Distinguishes Perception from Hallucination

Brian P. Mclaughlin

Oxford University Press

The chapter details Lewis's ideas on perception, the capacity to see, and hallucinations. The chapter also provides counterarguments and commentaries on identified weaknesses of this work. The concept of hallucinations throws a monkey wrench into the supposedly straightforward definition of seeing, in that the visual experience is markedly different from the actual environment. The chapter then ascribes two conditions—multi-tracking and multi-adherence—to the capacity to see, which distinguishes hallucinations from actual seeing. In the former, a person “sees” if he is capable of tracking various actual scenes with matching visual representations, as opposed to hallucinations, where, even if one changes the scenery, the visual representation remains the same. The chapter refutes the necessity of these conditions for seeing, because of factors unrelated to a person's capacity to see. In the last part of the chapter, an alternative theory is provided, in response to the identified loopholes in the discourse discussed here.

Keywords:   environment, perception, hallucination, multi-tracking, multi-adherence, seeing, visual representation

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