Illusion and Ideas

  • S. Alexander


Illusory appearances of things differ from other appearances in not being veridical. Real appearances belong to the thing itself and are contained in it; they are its perspectives; the thing is the synthesis of them effected in the space-time to which they belong; and correspondingly the mind in its experience of these various appearances collates them or rather discovers them to be collated without any exclusion. Mere appearances belong to the thing only under conditions which do not leave it to manifest its appearances by themselves; and, when these conditions are allowed for, such mere appearances are accounted for by the real nature of the thing taken in conjunction with the foreign thing; and are thus real appearances of the two combined and mere appearances of the thing itself. But illusory appearances do not belong to the thing of which they are appearances; and the illusion consists in their being so referred.1 Only in so far are they illusory; there is no illusion until an element in the appearance which does not belong to the thing is perceived as belonging to it : until for instance the green seen by contrast on a piece of grey paper lying on a red ground is seen as an affection or the place of the grey paper.


Sensory Experience External Thing Mere Appearance Mere Idea Real Appearance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Macmillan & Co. Ltd. and Dover Publications, Inc. 1966

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Alexander

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations