Hallucinations as a Reality

Prof Markus Gabriel

Chair of Epistemology, Modern and Contemporary Philosophy, University of Bonn

Director of the International Centre for Philosophy
Director of the Centre for Science and Thought

Hallucinations as a Reality 

Webinar - Tuesday, 6 October 2020. 18:00

Current psychological theories of hallucinations consider them a misattribution of reality to non-real mental events such that internal/private mental events are mistaken for external publicly observable events giving rise to the illusion of reality. There are some phenomenological facts that cause problems for this theory, e.g. a person with acquired blindness can have new onset complex visual hallucinations which they regard as real AND qualitatively different from the visual perceptions they remember before blindness AND don’t expect them to be seen by others. Professor Gabriel will consider Merleau-Ponty’s remark that “hallucinations are played out on a stage different from that of the perceived world” and will discuss his thinking on how fields of sense may shed light on hallucination.


Professor Gabriel studied philosophy and Ancient Greek at the universities of Bonn and Heidelberg. Prior to his appointment to his current professorship in Bonn at an exceptionally young age he had already held visiting professor positions at the New School of Social Research in New York, at Aarhus University, at PUC Rio de Janeiro and at UC Berkeley.

Professor Gabriel's research interests are extensive, including epistemology, philosophy of religion and aesthetics, ancient philosophy, post-Kantian idealism, and contemporary analytical and post-analytical philosophy. He is also a noted author whose works include 'Why the world does not exist', and more recently, 'Neo-Existentialism'.


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