Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. John Dilworth

Second Advisor

Dr. Timothy McGrew

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael Pritchard

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Marc Alspector-Kelly

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The Grand Illusion hypothesis is a new form of skepticism about the nature of our visual experience: it seems to us as though our vision is everywhere detailed, distinct, continuous, in color, even “photograph-like,” but it is not. This position is motivated by developments in perceptual research, which have revealed new information about the functional structure of the visual system as well as the attention-dependent nature of perception.

My project is primarily deconstructive. I argue that the Grand Illusion hypothesis rests on problematic assumptions (motivated by the results from the relevant perceptual research), which ultimately leads to an incoherent formulation of what we ought to expect our vision to be like. By challenging these assumptions, our expectations are altered in such a way that predicts that we would have exactly the visual experiences that we do. Thus, we are not subject to the Grand Illusion.

Included in

Philosophy Commons