more from Lucretius

Single Idea 5727

[catalogued under 13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 3. Illusion Scepticism]

Full Idea

Paradoxical experiences (such a dreams and illusions) cannot shake our faith in the senses. Most of the illusion is due to the mental assumptions we ourselves superimpose, so that things not perceived by the senses pass for perceptions.

Gist of Idea

Most supposed delusions of the senses are really misinterpretations by the mind


Lucretius (On the Nature of the Universe [c.60 BCE], IV.462)

Book Reference

Lucretius: 'On the Nature of the Universe', ed/tr. Latham,Ronald [Penguin 1951], p.144

A Reaction

Some misinterpretations of the senses, such as thinking a square tower round, are the result of foolish lack of judgement, but actual delusions within the senses, such as a ringing in the ears, or a pain in a amputated leg, seem like real sense failures.