Why our experience and the object we experience are one

Step 10: the argument from hallucinations

The only empirical evidence supporting the separation between experience and world is constituted by cases of misperception, including hallucinations and dreams. In such cases, one's experience seems to differ from the real world. Right? No, surprisingly wrong!

Example. Emily sees a red apple floating in the air. However, there is no red apple in front of her. She is hallucinating. Is this a case of experience without an object? No. Emily perceives an apple that she met some time earlier in her life. For instance, she experiences the apple that had been on her table yesterday. Crucially, she perceives it, she does not re-imagine it!

The Spread Mind supports this counterintuitive claim by pointing out two empirical facts. First, all hallucinations are made of parts of actual objects. Second, both in perception and hallucination there is a time lag. The conclusion is that:

Hallucinations are perceptions of unusually spatiotemporally-scattered physical objects.

Riccardo Manzotti, 27 January 2015