Student Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Honors Designation


Program of Study




First Advisor

Sandeep Sreekumar

Second Advisor

Thomas Teufel

Third Advisor

Jonathan Gilmore


The phenomenology of Claude Romano constructs a strict distinction between perceptions and illusions. This distinction is so strict that the former excludes the latter completely. Putting this distinction into play is not a local decision about our experiences and the structures of our experiences. This decision brings with it metaphysical, ontological, and phenomenological frameworks to ground it. In what follows I attempt to draw out the consequences of Romano’s decisions about our experience, and to study the philosophical frameworks that underlie his decisions. In doing so, I reconnect his phenomenology with a wider terminology of phenomenology, in order to study and clarify this terminology, and to demonstrate how his terminology should function. Much of what follows is a systematic clarification of the way one should speak in describing one’s experiences, as well as a clarification of the conceptual structures that are constructed when describing our experience. In this way I hope to revise and update what Romano calls a “holism of experience”, that is, a conceptual holistic structure of human experience. The establishment of Romano’s holism is based on the distinction between perceptions and illusions. Opting to deny his distinction, I also separate the philosophical frameworks that ground it, and attempt to bring to light their unique functions within a holism of experience. Because the research methodology and terminology of the thesis change in light of clarifications along the way, a table detailing the methodology and defining terminology would need to be composed of two possibly contradictory entries for each. As this would serve only to confuse the reader, I have opted to exclude these entries prior to the thesis, and to allow the philosophical work to guide the reader.

Included in

Philosophy Commons



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