Illusions eBook

James Sully
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 358 pages of information about Illusions.

      (2) Quasi-Expectations:  anticipation of extra-personal experiences,
        307, 308; Retrospective Beliefs, 308-312.

  B. Compound Illusory Belief:—­

      (1) Representations 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,
    360, 361.




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.

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Illusions from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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