Naive Realism, Causation and Hallucination: A New Response to the Screening Off Argument

23 Apr 2018

ABSTRACT. This paper sets out a novel response to the ‘screening off’ problem for naïve realism. The aim is to resist the claim (which many naïve realists accept) that the kind of experience involved in hallucinating also occurs during perception, by arguing that there are causal constraints that must be met if an hallucinatory experience is to occur; constraints that are never met in cases of perception. Notably, given this response, it turns out that, contra current orthodoxy, naïve realists need not adopt any particular view about the psychological nature of hallucinatory experience to handle the screening off problem. Consequently, room opens up for naïve realists to endorse whatever theory of hallucinatory experience seems to best capture the distinctive nature of such episodes.