Upcoming Lectures


Richard Gipps (University of Oxford)
Hallucination, Unrelinquished Anticipation, and Psychotic Terror

March 9, 2018, 5.00pm - 6.30pm (lecture hall 2i, NIG)

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. By understanding hallucination as unrelinquished sensory anticipation we understand, too, why it is that we hallucinate those who are so close to us that their death does not easily result in an expectation of no longer encountering them. A simple and helpful model of hallucination can be arrived at by considering the experience of lurching when embarking a static escalator. Declarative knowledge that it is static does not sufficiently trickle down into the sensori-motor, anticipation-constituting, foundations of our procedural knowledge. Hallucinations are a function of the latter: they are lurches on the sometimes static escalators of our animal souls. 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.


Past Lectures