Philosophical Views of Hallucination and Perception


Speaker: Fiona Macpherson
Date: Wednesday 18 June 2014 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Venue: Shoreditch Town Hall, , EC1V 9LT
See all events at: Shoreditch Town Hall
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RTS co-investigator Professor Fiona Macpherson will be speaking as part of a series of talks to coincide with the exhibition Out of Our Heads. Please visit the talks section of the website to book your place in advance.

Abstract: We gain most of our beliefs by perceiving the world. But can we gain knowledge about the world if there is a possibility that we are sometimes, or always, hallucinating? Hallucination has had a central role in philosophical thought, made famous by Descartes’ evil daemon who is constantly deceiving us, and in more recent times by films like the Matrix. Is the standard conception of hallucination and perception—which lends weight to the idea that hallucination challenges whether perception can give us knowledge—the only viable conception there is? In this talk Prof Macpherson will explore other conceptions of hallucination and perception recently posited by psychologists and philosophers. She will consider whether they alleviate the sceptical worries that hallucination engenders, and will argue that, if they do, new and distinct—and perhaps more troubling—sceptical worries arise.

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