Event Detail

Tue Dec 8, 2015
Howison Library, 4–6 PM
Graduate Research Colloquium
Umrao Sethi (UC Berkeley)
Hallucination Defanged: Perception and the Dual Nature of its Objects

It has been widely assumed that the possibility of qualitatively matching hallucinations forces a rejection of naïve realism – the view that ordinary perception is constituted by a relation of awareness between a perceiver and the mind-independent world. In this talk, I will argue that the naïve view is in fact compatible with the possibility of such delusive experiences. Treating a veridical perception and a matching hallucination as making the perceiver aware of items that are qualitatively identical but ontologically distinct can provide a sufficient explanation of the similarity of the two cases. For this proposal to be sustainable, however, we must treat the items of ordinary perceptual awareness as constitutively over-determined – i.e. as fully constituted both by the mind-independent world and by the act of awareness, even though each is individually sufficient for items of the very same kind. Once we have the notion of constitutive over-determination at our disposal, naïve realism can finally claim victory over one of its oldest adversaries.