Denise Vincenti

Phantoms of the Mind. Hallucination and Perception in France in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: French Psychiatry, French Psychology, Hallucination, Henri Bergson, Hippolyte Taine, Perception.

This essay aims at retracing the history of the notion of hallucination in the nineteenth-century French philosophy and psychiatry. Whereas, at the beginning of the century, hallucinations were solely conceived as pathological phenomena (Pinel, Esquirol), and therefore distinguished from their physiological counterparts – illusions and perceptions –, during the 1850s some psychiatrists started conceiving hallucination as strictly related to the normal workings of the mind. This crucial convergence paved the way to new philosophical studies, such as Hippolyte Taine’s and Henri Bergson’s ones, aimed at investigating the narrow relationship between hallucination and perception.

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