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Austerity and Illusion

French, Craig; Phillips, Ian

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Ian Phillips


Many contemporary theorists charge that naïve realists are incapable of accounting for illusions. Various sophisticated proposals have been ventured to meet this charge. Here, we take a different approach and dispute whether the naïve realist owes any distinctive account of illusion. To this end, we begin with a simple, naïve account of veridical perception. We then examine the case that this account cannot be extended to illusions. By reconstructing an explicit version of this argument, we show that it depends critically on the contention that perceptual experience is diaphanous, or more minimally and precisely, that there can be no difference in phenomenal properties between two experiences without a difference in the scenes presented in those experiences. Finding no good reason to accept this claim, we develop and defend a simple, naïve account of both veridical perception and illusion, here dubbed Simple, Austere Naïve Realism.


French, C., & Phillips, I. (2020). Austerity and Illusion. Philosophers' Imprint, 20(15), 1-19

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 28, 2020
Publication Date 2020-05
Deposit Date Mar 7, 2020
Publicly Available Date Mar 18, 2020
Journal Philosophers' Imprint
Electronic ISSN 1533-628X
Publisher Michigan Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 15
Pages 1-19
Public URL
Publisher URL


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