Definition of ILLUSION


ILLUSION

A species of mania in which the sensibility of the
nervous system is altered, excited, weakened or perverted. The
patient is deceived by the false appearance of things, and his
reason is not sufficiently active and powerful to correct the
error, and this last particular is what distinguishes the sane from
the insane. Illusions are not unfrequent in a state of health, but
reason corrects the errors and dissipates them. A square tower seen
from a distance may appear round, but on approaching it, the error
is corrected. A distant mountain may be taken for a cloud, but as
we approach, we discover the truth. To a person in the cabin of a
vessel under sail, the shore appears to move; but reflection and a
closer examination soon destroy this illusion. An insane individual
is mistaken on the qualities, connexions, and causes of the
impressions he actually receives, and he forms wrong judgments as
to his internal and external sensations; and his reason does not
correct the error. 1 Beck s Med. Jur. 538; Esquirol, Maladies
Mentales, prm. partie, III., tome 1, p. 202. Dict. des Sciences
Mdicales, Hallucination, tome 20, p. 64. See Hallucination.

Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition

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