Deviant Causal Chains and Hallucinations: A Problem for the Anti-causalist
The causal theory of perception is opposed by anti-causalists, who claim that the notion of causality is not part of our ordinary concept of perception, and sometimes raise the possibility of deviant causal chain counter-examples in an attempt to undermine the causal theory. I argue that such examples in fact cause more difficulties for anti-causalist accounts of perception. Anti-causalists are unable to explain how the examples can be recognized as deviant, and why such cases are incompatible with perception. They have a general problem in providing a satisfactory account of hallucination. A comparison with certain complex cases of illusion suggests that our grasp of the concept of perception does indeed involve some kind of understanding of the kinds of causal chains appropriate to genuine perception.