Lecture "Hallucination, Unrelinquished Anticipation, and Psychotic Terror"

Given by Richard Gipps (University of Oxford) within the "Philosophy of Psychiatry Lecture Series 2018", organized by the research group "Phenomenological Psychopathology and Philosophy of Psychiatry".

On 9th of March 2018
at 5:00 pm
in lecture room 2i (NIG, Universitätsstraße 7)


Theories of psychotic hallucination as inner representations uncaused by outer objects fail us in three respects: They presuppose an alienated and absurd conception of ordinary perception; They fail to grasp the connection between hallucination and the vicissitudes of non-psychotic life - especially grief; And they deflect us away from our intuitive understanding of hallucination as manifestation of psychotic terror. The talk proposes a remedy for this: By grasping perception - not in terms of inner representations caused by sensory inputs, but - in terms of that sensori-motor participation which constitutes the self-in-relation-to-its-world, we restore a non-alienated conception of perception as world-involvement.

The question remains as to why the psychotic subject has sensori-motor anticipations of encountering that which - when these anticipations are yet uncancelled despite not being met with a sensory realisation - is hallucinated. The question prompts the following thought: Whilst we may focus on the emotional costs of hallucinating, we might do better to focus on the costs to the psychotic subject of not hallucinating.


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