Dialogues in Philosophy
Mental and Neuro Sciences

Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences

The official journal of Crossing Dialogues
Volume 13, Issue 2 (December 2020)

The tendency to representation: symbolic hallucinations
Pierre Janet
Written as part of the first volume of “Obsessions and Psychasthenia” (Janet, 1908), this paper presents C. Accordingly, these hallucinations are not experienced as the perception of an object but as “the evocation of a sign which subsumes many other thoughts”. For instance, the patients do not really hear or see the hallucinated object but think they are perceiving it because they are afraid that this could happen.
In some cases, they are so concerned of this possibility (e.g. the pious woman afraid of having luxurious thoughts in church) that they almost perceive what they fear (in this case, the woman has the sensation to see the priest’s penis). Janet stresses that these forms of “symbolic mania” are very important in scrupulous patients, because they give to the obsessive hallucinations their peculiar character.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Hallucinations, Psychopathology, History of Psychiatry, Phenomenology
Dial Phil Ment Neuro Sci 2020; 13(2): 62-67