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Talking About NothingNumbers, Hallucinations and Fictions$
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Jody Azzouni

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199738946

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199738946.001.0001

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(p.50) 2 Hallucinations
Talking About Nothing

Jody Azzouni (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

It’s common to think that demonstrations require something (that exists) that’s demonstrated. If, because of hallucination, there is no object, then the demonstration—and what’s said—is seen by some to fail to express anything. One can pretend (in the case where one is aware that one is hallucinating) that one is pointing at something, and others can pretend to understand what the hallucinator is talking about. This chapter shows that this way of thinking about hallucinations is wrong by developing at length a series of thought experiments that show how natural and cogent demonstrations are in hallucinatory contexts. Gareth Evans’s careful discussion of this matter is analyzed. Pretence approaches to singular hallucinatory talk are undercut by the external discourse demand, and by quantifying-in requirements on that discourse. The chapter also discusses how identity conditions for hallucinated objects can be cogent, and the argument from hallucination.

Keywords:   hallucination, empty demonstratives, Gareth Evans, pretence, external discourse demand, quantifying in, truth-value inducers, the argument from hallucination, disjunctivism, truth-based properties

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