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This paper examines the standard conceptualizations of the notion of hallucination in light of various non-ordinary phenomenological patterns associated with altered states of consciousness induced by psychoactive agents. It is argued that in general, the conceptualizations encountered in the literature do not do justice to the richness and complexity that the psychological phenomenology actually exhibits. A close inspection of this phenomenology reveals some pertinent distinctions which are usually not made in the scientific literature. On the one hand, the discussion is based on first-hand experiences and, on the other hand, it is grounded in empirical and theoretical cognitive investigations of the phenomenology of human consciousness. Theoretically, the discussion is grounded in an approach highlighting the centrality of experience, meaning and action in cognition.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Benny Shanon, Psychology Dept, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel ., Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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