anticipation of extra-personal experiences,
307, 308; Retrospective Beliefs, 308-312.
B. Compound Illusory Belief:—
of permanent things: their structure, 312; our
representations of others as illusory, 312-315; our representation
of ourselves as illusory, 315; Illusion of self-esteem, 316-318;
genesis of illusory opinion of self, 318-322; Illusion in our
representations of classes of things, 322, 323; and in our views
of the world as a whole, 323, 324; tendency of belief towards
divergence, 325; and towards convergence, 326, 327.
Range of Illusion, 328-330; nature and
causes of Illusion in general,
331-334; Illusion identical with Fallacy, 334; Illusion as abnormal,
336, 337; question of common error, 337-339; evolutionist’s conception
of error as maladaptation, 339-344; common intuitions
tested only by philosophy, 344; assumptions of science respecting
external reality, etc., 344-346; philosophic investigation of these
assumptions, 346-348; connection between scientific and philosophic
consideration of Illusion, 348-350; correction of Illusion and its
implications, 351, 352; Fundamental Intuitions and modern psychology,
352; psychology as positive science and as philosophy, 353-355;
points of resemblance between acknowledged Illusions and Fundamental
Intuitions, 355, 356; question of origin, and question of
validity, 356, 357; attitude of scientific mind towards philosophic
scepticism, 357-360; Persistent Intuitions must be taken as true,
THE STUDY OF ILLUSION.
Common sense, knowing nothing of fine distinctions, is wont to draw a sharp line between the region of illusion and that of sane intelligence. To be the victim of an illusion is, in the popular judgment, to be excluded from the category of rational men. The term at once calls up images of stunted figures with ill-developed brains, half-witted creatures, hardly distinguishable from the admittedly insane. And this way of thinking of illusion and its subjects is strengthened by one of the characteristic sentiments of our age. The nineteenth century intelligence plumes itself on having got at the bottom of mediaeval visions and church miracles, and it is wont to commiserate the feeble minds that are still subject to these self-deceptions.
According to this view, illusion is something essentially abnormal and allied to insanity. And it would seem to follow that its nature and origin can be best studied by those whose speciality it is to observe the phenomena of abnormal life. Scientific procedure has in the main conformed to this distinction of common sense. The phenomena of illusion have ordinarily been investigated by alienists, that is to say, physicians who are brought face to face with their most striking forms in the mentally deranged.