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Inquiry: An
Interdisciplinary Journal
of Philosophy
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Dreaming
Brian O'Shaughnessy
Published online: 06 Nov 2010.

To cite this article: Brian O'Shaughnessy (2002) Dreaming, Inquiry:


An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy, 45:4, 399-432, DOI:
10.1080/002017402320947522
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Inquiry, 45, 399432

Dreaming
Brian OShaughnessy

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Kings College, London

The aim is to discover a principle governin g the formation of the dream. Now
dreaming has an analogy with consciousnes s in that it is a seeming-consciousness .
Meanwhile consciousnes s exhibits a tripartite structure consisting of (A)
understandin g oneself to be situated in a world endowed with given properties , (B)
the mental processe s responsible for the state, and (C) the concrete perceptua l
encounter of awareness with the world. The dream analogue s of these three elements
are investigate d in the hope of discoverin g the source of the kinship between dream
and consciousness . The dream world (A) proves to be a logically impossible world,
limited by nothing more than sheer narratability . The internal world (B) of the
dreamer is notable for the limitlessnes s of the scope allotted to the imagination
(exactly taking over the offices of rational function) , together with the presence of
two important phenomena encountere d in waking consciousness : a measure of
interiority , and the positing of a world. Finally (C), the dream further replicates
consciousnes s in so far as we seem in dreaming concretel y to experienc e our
physical surround s in the form of perceptua l imagining. These propertie s play their
part in enabling the dream to be a seeming-consciousness . At the same time they are
such as to necessitat e its not being consciousness . It is proposed that in the light of
these properties, and those composing the state of consciousness , the dream simply is
the imagining of consciousness .

How light the sleeping on this soily star,


How deep the waking in the worlded clouds.
Dylan Thomas

(1) What is dreaming? It is the mind creating out of its own resources an
unreal replica of waking consciousness at least. This article is an attempt to
answer the question by delimiting the properties of the dream, and by
uncovering a governing principle that accounts for their existence. Then the
analogy between the dream and consciousness suggests a structure for the
article. When a person is conscious he (i) understands himself to be situated in
a world that is endowed with certain properties, (ii) brings to bear in relation
to that world an internal life of a kind peculiar to consciousness, and (iii)
encounters the world in concrete mode in sense-perceptual experience. These
three main ingredients of the wakeful conscious situation are each re ected in
dreaming. Thus, the dreamer dreams of a domain which has properties of a
special dream variety; has an inner life in relation to that dreamed world
which is to be found only in dreaming; and in the dream seems to encounter
# 2002 Taylor & Francis

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that world through perceptual and generally visual imagining. Then since I
suspect that the analogy between dreaming and consciousness is an important
lead to the nature of dreaming, I have chosen to divide the article into the
following sections: (A) The dream world, (B) the inner world of the dreamer,
(C) perceptual imagination in the dream, and (D) the relation between
dreaming and consciousness. My hope is that a closer inspection of the central
elements of the dream situation may shed light on the kinship between dream
and consciousness, and thereby on the underlying nature of the dream.
(2) Before I begin the discussion, it seems desirable that I say a few words
concerning the existential status of the dream. Wittgenstein asked: do we
dream, or do we wake with memories of what never was? At rst one might
be inclined to shrug off this question on the grounds that the second state of
affairs is unreal. But in fact it is no more than an unusual possibility. In a
word, we dream. Had it been the case that seeming-memory was the only
conceivable evidence of dreaming, one might well reject the distinction: in
effect, endorse a veri cationist analysis which reduced dreaming out of
existence. However, other evidences do in fact exist, even though memory is
evidentially in a privileged position in that those alternative evidences depend
ultimately upon memory. Why suppose that rapid eye movements (REM)
have anything to do with dreaming, if it were not because of the association
with recollection? On the other hand, if no other evidence of dreaming could
be discovered besides seeming-memory, then I think we should have to face
the possibility that dream-memory was no more than a post-sleep
phenomenon: Wittgensteins second alternative. After all, spurious recollections are a real phenomenon indeed, one which might sometimes occur in
subjects who mostly remembered their dreams so that Wittgensteins
disjunction cannot even be dichotomous in character, let alone unreal. While
the natural tendency of experiences to leave memories of themselves makes
the second theory unlikely from the start, it should be noted that some
experiences are rarely remembered, e.g. somnambulist experience.
The discussion which now follows falls under the aforementioned
headings.

A. The Dream World


1. Unity
(1) What goes into the making of a dream? What is the constitutive analysis of
this phenomenon? The following items frequently occur in the course of
dreaming. (i) Seeming visual experience of a physical setting. (ii) Seeming
perceived events in that setting. (iii) Seeming facts, mostly relating to that
setting. (iv) Beliefs, mostly relating to that setting. (v) Ones seeming

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presence in that setting. (vi) Seeming physical actions of ones own in that
setting. (vii) Occasional seeming mental actions. (viii) Thoughts and
emotions, mostly relating to that setting.
Now while we might describe phenomena of this kind as parts of a dream,
are we really entitled to believe they are parts of a single phenomenon? Why
not construe them as no more than a concatenation of phenomena occurring
during sleep? What reason have we to believe that there is any one something
that is the dream?
(2) One reason consists in the fact that there is much cross-reference amongst
the above elements, and irreducible cross-reference at that. For example, one
has a thought in the dream about some X one seemingly sees in the dream, and
there is no acceptable description of this thought-event which omits reference
to that X-element. Here the essential description of one dream-item involves
reference to a second dream-item, so that although these phenomenal
elements are numerically two, one is essentially linked to the other.
This property is intimately related to another feature of dreams which is
also indicative of unity: their narratability. How could the object of a
continuous narration be a mere concatenation, a fragmentary sequence of
experiential splinters, the unintelligible phantasmagoric object of a word
salad? And how could the time-order posited in the narrative reveal its
existence to the dreamer if the dream consisted of mental bric-a`-brac of this
kind? Presumably not through the relational properties of those fragments,
nor recollectively either. A narrative of dream experience which takes the
form of a continuity must have as its object an experiential continuity across
time, involving persisting items which reappear at intervals, and must assume
therefore the existence of a continuous temporally extensive framework in
which the various dream elements are positioned. While a dream might
survive the existence of a temporal gap a sort of temporal blind-spot which
is not experienced somewhat as a lm survives an interval narratability
of the kind which characterizes dreams is inconsistent with a break-up into
temporal instants. It necessitates experiential continuity and the persistence of
elements.
2. Presumptions
(1) Once again: what goes to make up a dream? Tautologically one might
answer: as much as is experienced. I express myself in these circular terms for
a reason. The literary critic L. C. Knights once wrote a famous article
ironically entitled How many children had Lady Macbeth? At one point in
the play Lady Macbeth speaks of having given suck ... , and one naturally
assumes she is referring to children of her own. Here we have a perfectly
legitimate presumptive inference from the text. Nevertheless, there seems to

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be something illicit in pursuing the question, unless there are speci c pointers
in that direction. As soon debate whether Venus was or was not 5 6 in
height. It is not that these matters are hidden by lack of data: we offend a
principle in pursuing the question. We shall see that a closely reminiscent
principle holds concerning dreams, a principle that establishes a kinship
between dream, myth, legend, fairy story, etc.
Consider some of the characteristics of two familiar kinds of narratives.
First, a report in a newspaper to the effect (say) that a woman was robbed of
her jewellery in Trafalgar Square. How would we interpret such a report?
Well, I think we would all naturally endorse the (highly unlikely) claim that
the woman must have either been 5 6 in height, or more, or less, and do so
even if nothing in the report mentioned her height. Likewise we would all
accept the (equally improbable) claim that the jewellery is either somewhere
within the Solar System or has ceased to exist. Now consider further a novel
in which (say) the hero is at one time in Paris, and then a few days later in
Marseilles or Tierra del Fuego. If in Tierra del Fuego, and the novel is set in
1895, then the reader is at a loss and is forced to assume the novelist has
blundered. If on the other hand he is in Marseilles, he must assume either that
the hero took a train and that the novelist has not seen t to mention the
matter, or else that the novelist is just plain sloppy.
(2) It is all very different in dreams. Why? It turns upon the presumptions
which we bring to the situation. Thus, in the real domain of physical nature
the principle of physically suf cient reason governs all: there is a physical
reason for everything physical. And this principle has no application in
dreams. By contrast, it is automatically assumed to be operative both in the
domain of being described by the newspaper report and in the imagined
subject-matter of the novel. Why the difference? Well, in dreams there is
generally no reason given why anything happens. Strangely enough it follows
from this simple fact that generally in dreams there is no reason why anything
happens; that is, generally reasons form no part of dreams. This paradoxical
and seemingly tautologous truth suf ces to disengage the normal physical
logic from the dream. Thus, a third person listening to a report of a dream
whose content resembled the aforementioned novel could not complain: but
how in 1895 could one be in Tierra del Fuego just after being in Paris? If I
dream that in 1895 I am in Paris and then a moment later that I am in Tierra
del Fuego, and if there is no reason given for the change of place, then in
terms of the dream there is simply no reason for the not, move but,
alteration in place. It simply happens: not an event of movement, but a change
of site. And yet there is an explanation of the fact that in the dream I was in
Tierra del Fuego immediately after being in Paris, even though in the dream
this fact is wholly without explanation: the reason lies in whatever mental
phenomena led to my dreaming of such things at such times as I did.

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I must now qualify the claim that presumptions lapse in dreams though
not very seriously. If I dream of (say) Hume, it can be assumed I dreamed of
an entity that can be conscious, and yet this was not explicitly part of the
dream. The reason is that in dreaming of Hume one must be dreaming of some
something, and therefore of a certain type, and one must be in a position in the
veridical report to inject a determinate meaning into Hume. The
requirements of sense and reference must be met in that narrative, and it
can be assumed that I dreamed of a sentient being and not of a cabbage. By
contrast: we all know that Humes do not uctuate wildly in colour, yet if
nothing relating to Humes colour is dreamed so that we can say in the dream
he did not change colour, we can do so only in the sense it is no part of the
dream that he did and this is not the same as dreaming that he preserved a
steady colour. Thus, the presumption of steady colour lapses, that of being a
conscious entity remains. Indeed, even if Hume turns into a cabbage in a
dream, it is still a conscious being who has become a cabbage. It seems that
those properties which are essential to the preservation of a sense in the
narrative report must be presumed to be conserved: they alone.
(3) Even though we dream, not of some fantastic metaphysical realm, but of
the physical world, and therefore of a world in which the rationality of the
real governs, the dreaming representation of that domain fails to honour the
principle. Reason does not operate in dreams, since nothing that is
encountered explains anything else unless it is dreamed to do so. This
holds even when the subject-matter openly conforms to the laws of physical
nature. I dream of copper, of nitric acid, of an encounter between the two, and
of nitrogen peroxide coming from the solution. Then whereas concerning a
novel we can say Andre Bolkonsky died from wounds received at the Battle
of Borodino, irrespective of whether it is explicitly stated that he did, we
cannot say that in my dream the gas was caused by the encounter between the
two reagents unless it is an explicit part of the dream. And even if it were, I
might very well have embellished the report with the further detail that the gas
was caused by the encounter of those reagents only because it was Sunday.
Thus, it is not that the dream has strayed into the realm of law in explicitly
introducing an explanation linking nomically related events. Nothing
explains anything unless it is dreamed to do so, and even when it is thus
dreamed it is not as if the dreaming mind has managed to carve out a rational
nook in a non-rational domain.
The inapplicability of the normal physical logos to the subject-matter of
dreams is apparent in the persistence conditions for physical objects in
dreams. In the real physical world, material objects do not simply go out of
existence. They either persist, for good reason (e.g. attraction between microconstituents), or else destruct, again for good reason (e.g. A-bomb radiation).
This principle is operative in Nature, and is an application of a wider principle

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of rationality. And in the average realistic novel it is intended by the author to


be part of the framework of the world described. By contrast, even in a dream
in which explicit re-identi cation of an object occurs across time, as in I saw
an orange on the table and walked over and picked it up, we have no right to
insist that since it refers to the orange which was just then seen, so that one
and the same object appears at two separate times in the same dream, that
object must have continued to exist between the two recorded incidents.
Conservation principles have no place in dreams. For to repeat: there is as
much to the dream as the experience contains, and no more.

3. Conservation
(1) Like an orchid which seems as if it lives off air, so the dream springs forth
fully formed out of nothing (somewhat as Wagners famous Prelude to Act III
of Lohengrin appears like re suspended in mid-air, a dazzling auditory
apparition supported by itself). This quasi-miraculous onset is repeated at
every instant of the dreams existence, and repeated in reverse in the moment
of termination. It is nothing but the inapplicability of the rationality of the
real across time. One would search in vain for reasons within the dream for
its perpetuation, since no conservation principles govern the subject-matter of
the dream, and equally fruitlessly look for an explanation of its ending at the
point it did.
It might seem to be the same in the case of (say) a painting. As soon look
within the painting for reasons for its beginning on the left at a church,
continuing through a wood, and ending on the right at a stream. So one might
say mistakenly; and here we come across one reason for the imagery of the
orchid. While the church in the painting does not cause the presence of the
wood in the painting and the painters mind does, just as the mind of the
dreamer causes the sequential stages of the dream, there is none the less a
presumption that (say) the horizon behind the church will continue as we
move to the right, based upon the uniformity of physical nature. Moreover,
the painting may be presumed to represent a scene which continues beyond
that depicted. We can therefore produce physical explanations of the
development of the painting cast in terms of its subject-matter as in: the
horizon is one inch from the top to the right of the church because it is almost
an inch from the top to the left of the church and a real physical horizon would
generally continue in that way. But we cannot do so in the dream. Hence its
progression through time is wholly without explanation in dream terms and is
in that sense quasi-miraculous, whereas the paintings progression through
space is amenable to explanation in terms of its physical subject-matter. No
dream logic explains the dreams appearing either at all, or at the point in
the narrative at which it did, or for continuing as it does, or for lapsing without

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warning into non-existence when it did. Here we have one reason why the
image of the orchid is so appropriate.
Another determinant of that image, and divergence from the principle of
development of the painting, is this. The advance of the painting through
space is known by the painter to derive from his own mind, and understood to
observe the laws governing the domain depicted. But the dream comes into
the mind for reasons unknown to the dreamer, and advances through time
seemingly as self-sustaining as is the physical world itself in the minds of the
waking conscious. The causes lie elsewhere, as they do in the painting, but
whereas in the painting they are overtly given as located in the self, in the
dream all appears external and autonomous. The illusion is total. Thanks to
the conjunction of the above two properties, the apparently autonomous realm
of the dream unfolds a sequence of seeming external phenomena which are
taking place there and then without rhyme or reason: no reasons being hidden,
for none are there. And all of this is accepted without reservation by the
seemingly conscious being who is experiencing it. For him it is neither
untoward or toward: it simply is.
(2) Let me summarize the situation. Whether in novel or dream the real reason
one event follows another lies in the minds of their creators. And it does so
even if the two cited events are nomically related in physical nature: for
example the aforementioned encounter between nitric acid and copper and
the occurrence of nitrogen peroxide. Nevertheless, if in a novel these same
events were merely cited, it would normally be understood that the author is
representing not merely events but a causal relation as well. By contrast, if
they are merely cited in the full dream report, then the dreamer did not dream
of two causally related events. If, however, he dreams in addition that they are
causally related, so be it. But he might also at the same time have dreamed
that the causal relation occurred only because it was Sunday. Thus, dreaming
of a causal relation is not dreaming of a natural physical relation that is
susceptible of depth physical explanation unless that too is dreamed. In this
sense the dreamed causal relation does not lean upon physical realities. It is
merely a causal relation and not even for whatever reason. Thus, despite
representing a realm where law governs, this feature of reality is not
represented in dreams. To be represented, nomicity would need to be
explicitly represented, yet even then would not govern in the dream, since
again one would need to dream the application of the dreamed nomicity.
There is therefore a kind of inertia dogging the footsteps of any attempt to
restore the missing presumptions, including the explanatory presumption. It
stems from the fact that all additions are merely ad hoc, which in turn derives
from the principle: there is as much to the dream as the experience contains
and no more.
In short, the novel does not need to mention a causal relation, and yet it is

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understood, as in he put the kettle on the re, and when the water had boiled
he ..., and understood that it is part of physical nature and susceptible of
depth physical explanation. By contrast, unless causality is explicitly
mentioned it will generally not be true that the dreamer dreamed of a causal
relation, and even when it is explicitly present, none of the normal
presumptions hold. It is ad hoc all the way.

4. Explanation
(1) The dreaming subject is in a non-rational state. What is the reason for this
judgment? It is not because the dreamer is attentively out of touch with
physical reality. And no doubt it is because the mental will, and thus also the
capacity for thinking, is unavailable. But the non-rationality of the dreamer is
most apparent in the phenomenon in which rationality or its absence directly
manifests itself, viz. belief-formation. In so far as beliefs occur in dreams,
they occur somewhat as moods or inclinations occur in the conscious: they
simply happen to one, we have no jurisdiction over their arrival or departure.
We encounter here a phenomenon noteworthy for its absence in waking life:
just-believing. For rather as in waking consciousness we may just feel like
singing, or just feel happy, so in dreams we just believe . Neither in the
case of dream-belief, nor simple inclinations or moods at any time, do I know
why I just , and in each case the phenomenon is not rational. Moods
cannot be rational, and therefore cannot be irrational either, for moods cannot
be contrary to reason. But because dream beliefs happen to us from causes
outside our ken and beyond our jurisdiction, and beliefs can be and putatively
are rational, dream beliefs must be deemed both non-rational and irrational.
The state of mind of the dreamer is therefore not rational, since the world of
which the dreamer is seemingly aware is not determined by that whose
function it is to determine the way reality appears to us: reason.
(2) What is the explanation of the inapplicability in dreams of the principle of
the rationality of the real? Why the absence of the normal presumptions
concerning subject-matter of just this kind? Why cannot we assume that if an
object makes an appearance at two distinct times in the one dream, then it
must have been at some determinate place at some given time in between?
The explanation cannot lie in the fact that in the narration of the dream no
mention is made of the object at that time. After all, the same is true of the
newspaper report of the jewellery. Equally, the explanation cannot be that the
dream is a work of the imagination, since the same is true of the novel. And it
cannot be that whereas both newspaper and novel purport to represent reality,
the dream does not, for each may be said to do so, albeit in a different way.
The newspaper literally so; the novel a pretence of reporting reality, so that

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reality is what it is pretending to report; while dreaming is dreaming that


reality is a certain way. In each case reality is the intentional object.
(3) Does the explanation lie in the non-rational state of the dreamer? The
following arguments might be advanced against this suggestion. First, there is
no reason why a fairy story should not be invented on the spot by someone in
a rational state. But the principle of the uniformity of nature is no part of the
framework of the world of the fairy story: magic is rife, thought can wreak
havoc in the physical domain without physical mediation of any kind, acting
upon matter out of the blue as one might say. Here we have a non-rational
world conjured up by a rational mind in a rational state, and this demonstrates
that the explanation of the non-rationality of the dream world cannot lie in the
non-rational state of the dreamer. The second argument grasps the nettle of
the dream itself. For even if one supposes the fairy story to be incapable of
some of the feats open to dreaming, why should not a wakeful rational being
simply at will imagine all that occurs in a dream: for example, imagine that he
is in Paris on a Tuesday in 1895 and in Tierra del Fuego on the following
Thursday? The description of the conscious phantasy may well be
indistinguishable from that of the dream. What can the one do that the other
cannot? And the same conclusion is drawn in this second argument as in the
rst.
Consider the rst of these arguments. I shall not debate whether a world in
which magic exists is rational or not some might claim that all that happens
does so for a good reason, natural or supernatural. Nevertheless, in such a
realm reasons of a kind are obligatory: the fairy story world is rule-observing.
If the wizard is in two places at once, this is because this is the kind of thing
wizards can do, it is one of the powers that come with wizardry. Reason of a
kind is assumed for everything (no doubt because these narratives are
intended for beings in a rational state). But as we have seen this is not true of
dreams. Reasons may be quoted only if explicitly dreamed as reasons, as
when one dreams that because it is Tuesday the ocean is burning, and even
then there is no presumption that the ocean has a power to burn which has
been used: rather, it burns simply because it is Tuesday, for that wholly
particular reason alone. Nothing like law governs what happens, so that none
of the presumptions that allow us to extrapolate beyond reports of events in
other realms (physical reality, novelistic reality, mythic reality, etc.) and
further to characterize them apply in the case of dreams.
Consider the second argument. It is important that we distinguish the
activity of reporting a dream from the dream itself, and this argument fails to
do so. That the narratives of dream and conscious phantasy are identical does
not entail that the narrated phenomena are the same: that what one imagines is
the same does not entail that the imaginings are the same. After all, one
imagining may be active and the other inactive, and the world conjured up in

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one imagining may not be that of the other. And in fact this is the situation
here. And how in any case is one supposed rationally to create a world like
that of the dream? Invent a narrative which might easily be mistaken for a
dream, and instruct ones listeners that it is to be understood as exhibiting the
properties of dreams? For example: he turned him into a frog, proffered in
such a modality that there is no presumption that he is exercising a power?
Well, one can invent such a narrative, and have phantasies with such content,
but the latter step is simply not open to one. There is no way one could
actively or inactively have wakeful phantasies with such a property. The
reason being that necessarily we cannot shake off our rationality when awake.
(4) The question we must settle is whether the fact that the dreamer is in a
non-rational state determines that the domain of which he dreams does not
obey the rule of law. Is it because there is no reason for dream-beliefs, that no
dreamed x can be a reason for some dreamed y in the sense Hamlets
fathers death is a reason for Hamlets grief? Now one signi cant property of
dreams is the absence of any determining intention. This marks the dream off
from myth, legend, fairy story, etc. Thus, even though myths and legends
(etc.) scarcely derive from single intentions, they are none the less
intentionally promulgated down the ages. By contrast, once we distinguish
the intentional wakeful narration of the dream from the experiential process it
describes, it becomes obvious that there can be no determining intention at
work in a dream. The dreamer does not mean his dream in any way. Then
since the dream simply happens to one, and (not being meant in any way)
does not lend itself to interpretative intentional re-description, might this be
why there is as much and no more to the dream as is explicitly present? And is
it therefore this that explains the inapplicability of the presumptions which
ordinarily apply to the physical subject-matter of the dream? Well, I do not
see how it could be. After all, when a conscious person perceives his physical
environs he has no intentional control over the broad range of events, yet
experiences everything as taking place in a law-governed domain.
It seems to me that the real explanation is to be found where we initially
supposed it might lie, viz. in the non-rational state of the dreamer. The
inherence of this particular form of mental deprivation carries the implication
that in his experiences the dreamers understanding is not observing the
principle of suf cient reason: no presumptions deriving from his dormant
rational powers nd themselves automatically applied by his mind to the
physical objects of those experiences, which as a result are not experienced by
the subject as set in a rational or comprehensible domain. For the moment I
shall have to settle for this rather blunt and simple explanation. It should be
noted that it is a negative trait of which we have been speaking: it is not that
the absence of rationality in the dreamer guarantees the occurrence of events
which are in nature contrary to law. Rather, there is simply no guarantee that

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they follow it: for example, if an object appears in a dream at time t1 and
reappears at time t2, we cannot assume that it did not go out of existence or
did. We have what we have, and no more. It is a consequence of the almost
total sleep of reason during dreaming.

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5. The Limits of Content


Few of us dream of metaphysically different worlds such as a Leibnitzian
colony of monads. Instead, we dream of Reality: things are merely different
from how in reality they are. And they are different because the dream is an
invention of the mind: to be exact, of the non-rational mind (where no holds
are barred). In the novel things are different too, the novelist shuf ing real
and imagined items around in imaginary situations, but in the dream things
are different only more and radically so. To be sure, one ought not overstate
the difference. Many dreams are mundane in the extreme, and we should not
represent dreaming as a phenomenon in which the imagination cuts adrift
from normal life and soars off into an Arabian Nights of untrammelled
phantasy. Nevertheless, it is of great importance that dreams can
accommodate events which could not conceivably happen in reality: for
example, a stone turning into a man. While dreams are mostly unlike fairy
stories and myths, all that could happen in such works of the imagination
could in principle be dreamed: the resemblance is not so much in content as in
the range of possible ways things can be. In dreams boundaries persist, but
also dissolve; sense and non-sense of a kind co-exist; a sort of logic is de ed,
and a sort observed.
What are the limits, if any, so far as dream-content is concerned? What
kind of non-sense may it not include? It seems that dreams can break laws
which even fairy stories and myths must observe. One can dream that 1 and 1
make 3, that one is looking point blank at a surface which is red and blue all
over, and it is doubtful whether possibilities of this kind could be
accommodated by (say) a fairy story. If a story included a magician who
could construct an object which was red and blue all over, something in us
would I think protest: but what is it, this fantastic thing, that he is supposed to
be able to create? A certain level of the understanding needs to be intact if we
are to so much as discover what it is that is imaginatively entertained. That
same level is not called upon in the dream, which must in this respect be
viewed as the work of a mind functioning (so to say) on fewer cylinders.
Thus, one misidenti es an event in the understanding when one describes a
dream experience as grasping for the very rst time in my life that 1 and 1
make 3. While one understands what it is the wizard is supposed to have
accomplished in turning the prince into a frog, rather as we understand (say)
that a caterpillar turned into a butter y, it seems to me that if he is credited
with the capability of (say) making 1 and 1 equal to 3 then one understands no

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more than the separate words and the logical form of the sentences in which
those words are embedded. In sum, dreams can break a priori laws as myths,
legends, and fairy stories cannot.
Then does nothing limit dream content? Well, one could not accept as a
dream report the following: if is to next thing; and therefore one could not
dream if is to next thing. Nor do I think one could accept a dream report to the
effect that at that moment he entered the room and did not enter the room. A
agrant contradiction of this kind, which visibly breaks the laws of logic
rather than the rules of sentence-formation as in the previous example,
reaches the limit we have been seeking. In reporting such a putative dream the
narrator is giving with one hand what simultaneously he is taking back with
the other: the result being that no transfer of informational content is effected,
and the narration breaks down. This is not to say that dreams cannot embrace
the contradictory. One could have a dream report in which at one point one
(say) endows a person with the property of being born in 1900, and somewhat
later in the dream with the property of not being born in 1900. What cannot be
accommodated is the evident contradiction, something which simply halts the
narration. In a word, the limits of dream content are the same as the limits of
dream narratability. And this is the same as the point at which occurs the
demise of referential function, the limiting case where we are left with
nothing but words. That is, where we do not even nd ourselves in a position
to ing up our hands in protest with the response: impossible! It seems a ne
line between red and blue all over, and evidently p and not-p; yet ne or not, a
line is there. All that one needs for something to be dreamable is that it is a
way the World might be claimed to be however impossible, however
incomprehensible, however inconceivable.
Narratability is the outer perimeter of the dreamable, which is the point at
which referential function reaches its limit, and thus also where representational function does the same. The World is being said to be a certain way,
that is all that is needed. Then why is it that we can accept that 1 and 1 might
make 3 in a dream, but not in a myth or fairy story? The answer I think is that
it is through our belief at the time that 1 and 1 might make 3 in a dream, and
the mental state of the dreamer is a wholly non-rational state in which one can
believe anything. By contrast, in the fairy story or myth the world is presented
to a presumed rational reader through the mediation of words constituting a
narrative, rather than through the beliefs or mental state of that reader. These
two factors impose constraints not present in the dream.
6. A Dif culty
(1) A problem is posed by dreams, which is reminiscent of Moores Paradox.
Can one dream that p without in the dream believing p? Can a proposition
hang in mid-air as it were, part of the given world the dreamer inhabits,

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without at the same time his endorsing that proposition? Is the following an
intelligible dream-report: I dreamed that it was raining but I was convinced it
was not raining? Now the parallel waking report in the past tense like it was
raining but I was convinced it was not raining poses no special problem
(even though the present-tense wakeful version of this statement lands us in
Moores Paradox). And the dream has the following special property: all
reports of dreams are of necessity in the past tense (by contrast with waking
accounts of present experience). Then this fact can mislead us. It may cause
us to think of the dream as somehow essentially past, leading us to suppose
that the contentious dream-report must be acceptable (like the waking pasttense report). But in fact the dream does not happen in the past, nor even in the
present: it merely happens when it does. Then the question I am asking is: can
a proposition p be presented as fact in a dream, even as one personally
repudiates it? And I have to say that I do not see how it could. For how else
could p exist in a dream? What other mode of presentation is there?
(2) This conclusion raises a dif culty for the account I am giving of dreamcontent. If I cannot dream that 1 and 1 make 3 without in the dream believing
it is so, then conversely I should be capable of dreaming that Mr X entered the
room and did not enter the room, provided I can believe such a proposition in
a dream. And why should I not do so, seeing that I can dream that 1 and 1
make 3? Then why cannot I have a dream whose description includes and
then Mr X entered the room and did not enter the room? Why cannot I believe
this proposition in a dream, and thereby dream it?
Consider the dream-report and then Mr X entered the room and did a
dance. How is this to be understood? It is a report of an experience in which I
was seemingly aware of a dance. And how is that to be understood? It is not, I
think, merely a propositional awareness that is being recorded. Rather, it is
seemingly an example of the familiar relation in which we stand to our
environment when awake: that is, a perceptual and generally visual
awareness, conjoined with belief in the object-content of the perceptual
experience. This familiar relation is reproduced in the dream in the form of
visual imagining conjoined with belief in the object-content of the latter.
Accordingly, if I report that and then Mr X entered the room and did not enter
the room, I should by rights be taken to be reporting that and then I seemed to
see him enter the room (and believed so) and seemed to see him not entering
the room (and believed so). But this report is unacceptable, though not
because it might appear to endorse a contradiction: rather, it is because there is
no such thing as seeing someone not enter a room. However, since there is
such a thing as seeing that someone did not enter the room, the report may well
be understood to say I saw him enter the room and simultaneously saw that he
was not entering the room. And this report is perhaps acceptable, for I might
have seen him enter the room just as I saw his shadow cross the door, which I

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perceived as indicative of his departure. Either way, this account leaves


unscathed my claim that there is no such thing as having a dream whose
description includes and then Mr X entered the room and did not.

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B. The Inner World of the Dreamer


I began this article by noting that consciousness possesses a tripartite
structure, consisting of (i) understanding oneself to be situated in a world
endowed with given properties, (ii) the internal processes one brings to the
situation, and (iii) the concrete phenomenal interaction with the containing
world. In short, a whole containing the elements: posited world, worldconstitutor, and the concrete interaction of mind and world. Then dreaming
realizes an analogous structure, the rst element of which (Dream World)
has just been examined in Section A. It emerged that the world posited in the
dream is logically incapable of being realized, and not just because one might
dream that 1 and 1 make 3. Then since consciousness is awareness of Reality,
and reason our sole access to Reality, dreaming can of logical necessity occur
only in states other than consciousness. There is no possible world in which
the dream is the stream of consciousness of a conscious being. No world
matching a dream world is waiting there in narrative space in the hope of
being contacted by a conscious subject. The world of the dreamer observes no
limits: it is limited neither by reason, logic, the past, the future. Anything is
possible in the dream world.
I pass now in this present Section B to an examination of the second
element of the above dream-structure. Then the element in consciousness
which corresponds to this particular dream element is what might be called
the properly internal sector of the mental life of the conscious, that which is
the object of so-called inner sense. I propose here in Section B to inspect its
dream analogue, the inner world of the dreamer, the sector of the mind which
must harbour those mental faculties whose operation throws up the dream. I
do so in order to nd out what it is in that inner world which creates this
phenomenon, and discover in so doing what in the dreaming mind constitutes
the explanation of the dreams being a seeming consciousness. This last must
be a matter of some importance, since it is surely a necessary property of the
dream that it replicates consciousness, natural to suppose that this property is
a key to the inner nature of dreaming, and reasonable to assume that the
explanation must lie in the dream-making powers of the mind. For I should
like to stress that in writing this article my overall purpose is something more
than discovering the essential properties of the dream; it is a search for a
deeper factor: a principle which accounts for their existence. Then
remembering the scope of the imagination in the constituting of the dream
world, the imagination seems the most likely internal source of the kinship

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between dream and consciousness. For the imagination is par excellence an


imitator, indeed an imitator whose model is the Real, and in the dream the
imagination seems to have the power and scope to conjure up a domain that is
an analogue of the Reality given exclusively to waking consciousness. We
shall see that this theory has a dif culty to face.

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1. Imagination
(1) It emerged in Section A that the dream resembles the fairy story and myth,
not so much in its content as in the range of possibilities it can encompass.
Indeed, it extends the range to the very limiting point at which narratability
along with representational function break down. Then one might suppose
that this property was not merely necessary to dreams, but uniquely so as
well. Here, however, one would be mistaken. For we encounter the same
property in a state of consciousness which falls well outside the range of
states compatible with dreaming. Thus, it is a notable fact that the hypnotic
trance is a state in which one can believe anything; indeed, not just believe
anything, but in a situation in which veridical perception is something of a
norm seemingly perceive anything. For example, believe that 1 and 1 make
3, or really see an orange and yet see that orange as red all over and blue all
over. Whatever is describable is in principle believable in this state, and an
analogous rule holds for seeming-perceivings, even though the latter take
place in a situation where perception typically occurs. The working
assumption I am making in this discussion is that in the hypnotic trance
whatever way the hypnotizer says the World is and perceptually appears, is a
way the hypnotizee believes and experiences it to be. Then we can clearly see
how in this state the limits of content coincide with the limits of
representability: the representable or merely sayable precisely de nes that
limit, since all that the hypnotizer need do to determine experiential content is
say things are a certain way. In short, here as in the dream being a way is the
touchstone.
The above examples of belief and seeming perception are exercises of the
propositional and perceptual imagination, respectively. Precisely the same is
true of belief and seeming perception in the dream. Thinking of this
commonality, one might wonder how it is that the dream and the imaginative
(suggested) experiential life of an hypnotizee can differ. Both occur in
beings in non-rational states: one (the dreamer) having his beliefs simply
handed up to him by his mind, the other (the hypnotizee) having his beliefs
simply handed down to him by another: two wholly non-rational methods of
belief-acquisition; and both experiences are exercises of the imagination. And
yet on consideration it is clear that these two varieties of experience must be
different, and in an interesting way that points up an important property of

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dreaming. In particular, it brings to our notice an important property of the


dreaming use of the imagination.
(2) An hypnotic subject is in a state such that a command from the hypnotizer
tends to propel him into motor-perceptual behaviour. Then at such times he
uses his senses to perceive, may well believe for good rational reason
whatever they reveal, and perform acts guided by those rational beliefs.
Meanwhile he believes for no reason whatsoever all that he is told by the
hypnotizer, and is ready to disbelieve the evidence of his senses: for example,
to believe that the white paper before him is black or that the lighted room is
plunged in darkness. And so the faculty of reason must be at once operative
and inoperative in this condition. And a comparable schizoid-like divide
holds so far as a subjects contact with the environment is concerned. Thus, an
hypnotizee who believes it is dark might obey an order to walk over to a table
and pick up the one ripe orange in a group of green oranges. Indeed, were he
to be told that the orange was (say) an elephant, he would still need ordinary
visual clues to identify it. The order would need to be couched in something
like the following terms: walk over to the table and pick up the elephant that
looks like a ripe orange. In other words, the phantastic working of an
hypnotizees perceptual and propositional imagination takes place of
necessity upon a realistic base or ground of actual psycho-physical contact
with the environment: indeed, it takes place within such a realistic setting,
rather than the reverse. It embellishes that setting with cognitive and
perceptual imaginings, rather than the reverse.
The relation of a dreamer to his environment is totally different. Dreamers
are perceptually, rationally, cognitively, and actively cut off from physical
reality as hypnotic subjects are not. Typically, dreaming subjects neither see,
reason about, learn about, nor walk around in their environment: instead they
imagine a physical setting, frequently imagine they are visually perceiving it,
and often enough imagine they are moving about somehow in that imagined
domain. Real perceptual experiences do not occur, neither do real bodily
willings, and the power of reason as determinant of belief is almost totally
lost. And while the dreamer does not imagine his own existence, he none the
less generally imagines he is in that imagined environment, not so much in the
form of a belief to that effect, but in so far as he seems perceptually and
actively to be on the spot. Thus, there can be no question of his being in
touch with Reality in the merely local perceptual-cognitive sense
exempli ed in the hypnotic subject. And neither is it possible that his
imaginings should occur within and be integrated into a real and concretely
given physical ground which is constituted in his own mind through the
power of reason. The dreamer inhabits a purely imaginary world, the
constituting of which owes nothing to the use of rational function and
everything to the imagination.

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(3) What is the signi cance of this difference between these two states? It
concerns the fundamental question: what is it about the inner world of the
dreamer that makes dreaming a seeming-consciousness? Thus, since the
concept experience is not the concept experience when seemingly
conscious, experiences might occur which are not embedded in a seemingconsciousness: the experiences of a somnambulist presumably are not. And
neither are those of an hypnotic subject (as we shall later see). However,
dream experiences do occur in such a context. Then how does dreaming come
to have this property? The most likely explanation is to be found in the part
played by the imagination in constituting the dream. In the dream the
imagination is continually active and observes no limits, and in this
un agging and limitless creative power we seem to have the wherewithal to
create a containing domain that is the analogue of the Reality posited in the
state of waking consciousness. One might naturally suppose that in this power
we have the source of the dream and of its kinship to consciousness.
Then it is here that the relevance of the hypnotic trance becomes apparent.
The discussion of the trance was undertaken to help delineate the precise role
of the imagination in dreaming, and in so doing explain why the dream is a
quasi-consciousness. For the trance is of special interest in this regard, since
the imaginings of an hypnotizee seem to observe no more limitation than do
those of a dreamer, the imaginings of an hypnotizee being free to roam as far
as the language of the hypnotizer can transport them. But the unlimited
imaginings of the trance do not take place in the context of a quasiconsciousness. It follows that the projected explanation of the fact that the
dream is a quasi-consciousness, which located the answer in the limitless
character of dream imaginings, cannot as it stands be sustained. Then ought
we to abandon the theory? And does this show that the imagination cannot be
the dream-making agency in the inner world of the dreamer? In my opinion
not, as I hope now to demonstrate.
(4) One feature of the imaginings of an hypnotizee which emerged was that
they take place within a context of psycho-physical cognitive and active
contact with the environment which is at once rationally constituted and
necessary. And so it turns out that in the trance the imagination has after all to
observe limits of a special kind: it can operate only if the mind posits an
outer unimagined and fully objective containing domain for the unlimited
workings of the imagination to embellish. Therefore while it can imagine
anything whatsoever within that containing context, it is unable to imagine
the containing context itself, and there must therefore also in addition be that
in the mind constituting that objective context which of necessity is not an
imagining. These limits to the scope of the imagination in the trance imply a
corresponding scope for reason. For since the sole access to Reality available
to self-conscious beings is reason, it follows that in the trance reason must

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have a certain scope. Accordingly, in the trance the rule of the imagination
must be far from total.
The contrast in these respects with the dream are noteworthy. Unlike the
trance, in the dream the imagination is the source of all that appears in the
containing domain, generating all outer seeming cognition. Thus, it creates
the context and its contents entire, and is altogether unlimited in scope.
Accordingly, the state must be wholly non-rational: the imagination
completely replacing reason in physical cognitive matters. In sum, the dream
emerges as wholly irrational, wholly imaginative, wholly interior, and
perhaps also as wholly inactive. It remains prima facie plausible that the
dream property of being a replica of consciousness owes its existence to the
almost unlimited rule of the imagination in the dream and the corresponding
total sleep of reason.
2. Interiority
(1) In so far as an hypnotized subject relates concretely with his environment
in motor-perceptual response to commands, he relates concretely with the real
World. In this sense he may be said to live within or psycho-physicall y to
inhabit the World. By contrast, a dreamer lives in a world of his own, a purely
imagined world. Paradoxically, this loss makes possible a measure of
interiority which is not found in the trance. The involuted character of
dreaming preserves an inwardness which is lost in the de-personalizing
externalization of the mind of the hypnotizee, as I hope soon to show.
We have seen that the dream reproduces the tripartite structure of
consciousness, which is a necessary condition of the dream being a seeming
or quasi-consciousness. The second element of that structure, the distinctive
inner life of the dreamer, is the subject-matter of the present Section B. It
emerged in B(1) that the imagination may well be the prime internal source of
the kinship between dream and consciousness. Here in B(2) I examine
another feature of the inner life of the dreamer, a factor of a different kind. For
we are concerned here, not with a causal agency of that kinship but a
structural parallel which holds between the two states, in other words with
one of the elements of the kinship. What I have in mind is the preservation in
dreaming of a fundamental divide which runs through the experiential life of
the conscious. Once again we shall nd in the trance an illuminating
contrasting phenomenon. But before I consider these states I must say a little
about the divide in question.
(2) The stream of consciousness of the self-consciously conscious is in a
sense a two-tiered structure, in that perception and bodily action occur on the
frontier of consciousness, at the point where mind and extra-mind meet,
whereas all other experiences take place within that perimeter. Thus, behind

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our immediate epistemological and active contact with physical reality runs
an experiential stream, an array of internal phenomena which for the most
part are directed to items in the outer world, a contact which is effected
through the mediation of concepts rather than via the concrete causal relations
of perception and bodily action. It is through this distinction that the concept
of inwardness which I appeal to in this discussion is to be explicated. The
experiential sector of that part of the self-conscious mind that is singled out
under objects of inner sense is roughly what I mean. Thus, the divide of
which I speak is that between the outer experiential perimeter and the above
variety of experience. It is a divide in the mind between the experiential
outer and the realm of true experiential interiority.
When we come to examine the trance and dream, we nd a signi cant
dissimilarity between the two states on this particular count. Consider in this
regard the trance (which takes either quiescent or activated form). The
condition of hypnotic quiescence is a sort of mental suspended animation:
experience stilled, no trace of an inner life of any kind, not even a state of
continuous expectation, nothing but a continuous openness to the
suggestions of the being who caused him to be in this vacuous state. The
second alternative mental posture of automatistic behaviour is equally devoid
of interiority. It is true that experience has returned here to the mind, but it is a
mental desert for all that, an inner emptiness. We nd no sign of the mental
will, and so of the active thinking will, and therefore of self-determination;
nor any form of mental response, whether of a thinking or even affective kind,
to what is presented perceptually to consciousness; and thus no evidence of
the fundamental divide between outer and inner, between outer sense
and the experiential object of so-called inner sense. The precipitating cause of
all that happens in the experiential sector of the subjects mind lies outside of
him and is distributed between the mind of another and the environment,
which is to say that the generating locus of his inner life is altogether external.
Accordingly, in each of the above two conditions the hypnotized subject may
be said to be outside of himself. He is at once in the mind of another and
dispersed in the environment.
(3) I hope now to show how much closer to normal consciousness is the
dream in this respect. But I emphasize that it would be a futile and indeed
contradictory enterprise to seek to demonstrate that the dream actually
reproduces the stream of consciousness of the conscious. Rather, if Nature
may be said in the dream to have a primary project of merely seemingly
reproducing consciousness, then my purpose is to show how much of the
inner life of the conscious is conserved in the dream without interfering with
that natural project (which is what one should expect if the one state is
seemingly the other). By way of justi cation of this contention I appeal to
phenomena of the following kind. In place of the steady groundbass of

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thinking, which is of the essence of the conscious stream of consciousness, we


nd in the dream the occurrence of stray thoughts, sometimes even the odd
sporadic chain of reasoning, and over it all a puzzling semblance of mental
freedom. And we encounter emotion, wholly untarnished by the loss of
consciousness, or desire equally as real as in waking life, each provoked by
the cognitive content of the dream. Then whereas the events and facts and
objects given to the dreamer in his outer world are no more than products of
the imagination, and his experience of them mostly forms of perceptual
imagining which are unreal versions of the perceptual reality, these latter
affective or conative phenomena are neither. Such thoughts and emotions and
desires are real examples of their kind, in contrast with the seeming
perceptions and seeming physical actions that populate dreams. Thus, the
re ective divide of consciousness is preserved intact in dreaming. It is a
genuine reality in the dream, and in no way merely imagined.
Now one might have expected all along that a measure of interiority would
obtain in the dream, bearing in mind the sheer continuity between waking
consciousness, pre-sleep semi-conscious phantasmagoric inner life, and
dream. And in fact it has proved to be so. While dreaming is not a form of
thinking, which is the main locus of interiority, it exhibits certain other marks
of inwardness, albeit in lesser measure than in waking consciousness.
Whereas the experiences of the hypnotizee face immediately outwards to the
body and environment in perception and action, and the objects of perceptual
and propositional imaginings take their place within such a wholly external
setting, the perceptual and propositional imaginings of the dream integrate
into an imagined and altogether internal scene and dream-situation. The
fundamental divide between the outer (i.e. imagined environment) and
inner (e.g. thinking and affective responses to the latter) is preserved in
dreaming. In the phenomenon of interiority we have part of the explanation of
the fact that the dream is a seeming consciousness and the trance not.
3. World
(1) We have seen that the dreamer imagines a containing environment in
which he is situated, and that the hypnotic subject does not. In fact there is a
sense in which the dream involves the creation of a containing world and the
hypnotizee does not. Then in this respect the dream mirrors an important
property of waking consciousness. And it is a necessary condition of the
dream being a seeming-consciousness that it do so.
What does it mean to create a world? I shall take it stipulatively to be
equivalent, not to any activity on the part of a subject, but to a particular state
of the mind: namely, that in which the mind ranges in its objects across a
domain marked by certain properties conferred by the inherence of the
capacity for thought. We see these properties in the domain given to the

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understanding of an awake rational being. Such a being at such a time


understands himself to be situated at a speci c point in space-time; knows that
temporally behind him there is a vast stretch of time and the same before him
in the future, and likewise around him spatially in all directions; understands
that the existent takes place in such a framework, and realizes that things
might have been different from how in contingent fact they are; and so on.
This much at least is present in the mind of the rational conscious. And it is a
condition which cannot exist in beings incapable of thought, whether
conscious or not. The peculiar powers of thought whereby the mind can cross
frontiers of time and space and actuality to elsewhere in space and time and
into the realms of the might-have-been (etc.) is the source of this framework
within which the awake and rational mentally lead their lives.
(2) Consider in this regard the state of mind of one in a trance. While an
hypnotic subject is capable of perceiving and learning about the environment,
his mind does not range across the reaches of spatio-temporal and modal
reality in the ways just mentioned. The mind of an hypnotizee seems stranded
in parochiality, entirely localized: spatially reaching as far as the eye can see,
temporally as far as the termination of his present occupation, all else out of
sight and out of mind. The framework of which a conscious rational subject
is aware, in which physical quasi-in nitude and contingency and modality
nd representation, is neither present nor needed in the trance. As a result, the
objects of experience are positioned in no more than a region. Such a state of
affairs is all of a piece with the loss of interiority that characterizes the trance:
the power of thought arrested, the affective life all but completely dormant. In
the mentally constricted condition I am assuming there is no psychological
space available for spontaneous thought, (say) for re ection upon the
situation in which the subject nds himself, or for emotion following upon
such thought, and so on. Meanwhile the imagination is called upon only when
the hypnotizer conjures up counter-realities in his mind, for the rest of the
time being inactive. Then while the range of reference would here coincide
with that of normal consciousness, this is merely at the behest of another mind
and is inserted into a mind which is otherwise stranded in a spatio-temporal
region, and cannot count as an exercise of the power of re ection on his part.
In sum, this subject constitutes neither the real world, nor a world of his own,
nor a world of the hypnotizer. He is stranded wholly in the here and now, in a
mere region. In bartering the limitless sway of reason for a measure of
imagining, he loses a World and gains a region.
What of the dream? If I dream that 1 and 1 make 3, the object of such a
dream cannot be a possible world. In addition, the negative presumption
principle operative in dreams forbids our supposing that the dreamer
understands that spatio-temporal quasi-in nitude and contingency characterize the domain in which he nds himself, which seems to con rm that dreams

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are not of possible worlds. None the less there are reasons which might incline
one stipulatively to say that the mind of the dreamer posits a world. It is not
just that the imagination plays a central part in constituting the dream. The
main consideration is that the dream ranges as far and wide, across space and
time and actuality, as the mind of a wakeful thinking being. Here we have a
stark contrast with the trance, where reference beyond the region is possible
but no part of the frame of reference, being inserted from outside. Thus, in the
dream we imagine real or imagined people, real or imagined places, counterfactual situations (he is alive after all!) without limit, exactly as when
awake. If we express the concept of a world in terms, not of what the subject
understands but the type of the mental canvas upon which occur the
representations of the dreamer, then in that sense it coincides with that of a
wakeful rational being. In dreams thought and the imagination have the same
range of operation as in waking consciousness.
(3) The properties of dreaming listed in this present second Section B go some
way to explaining why we are deceived in the dream as to our state of
consciousness, why in the dream we seem to ourselves to be awake, why in
other words it is a seeming-consciousness. While the dream cannot entirely
reproduce the inner experiential life of consciousness, for it is not a replica of
consciousness in the sense in which one painting replicates another, the dream
involves the occurrence of phenomena which approach as near as possible to
reproducing the phenomena peculiar to consciousness without actually doing
so. For example, one is experiencing. And a measure of interiority obtains.
And one nds oneself in a seeming World. And an apparent freedom seems to
reign. In addition, an absolute single-mindedness characterizes the dream in
that it is wholly given over to the unreal, in contrast with the schizoid-like
character of the trance, where experience splays with ease across reality and
the imaginary. This all or nothing character mirrors that of waking
consciousness, which likewise is devoid of compromise, in that in this state
rationality and thinking and perceptual power (etc.) inhere without
quali cation, constituting the unquali ed contact with reality which is
de nitive of the condition. Such an uncompromising mental posture is the
breeding ground for the world-making quasi-in nitudes characteristic of both
the dream and consciousness.

C. The Perceptual Imagination


I began by saying that dreaming realizes an analogous tripartite structure to
that of consciousness. Then in Sections A and B I examined the rst two
elements of that totality, viz. the world of the dreamer (in A) and the inner life
of the dreamer (in B). I come now in the present Section C to the third

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element, which is the dreaming analogue of the perceptual encounter with


physical reality that is part of the phenomenon of waking consciousness.
While it might seem that this third element ought to include the apparent
bodily willings of dreamers, since physical action is one half of the concrete
phenomenal encounter of consciousness with the world, the seeming
perceptions of the dream completely overshadow seeming physical actions
in that context. This is because seeming physical action plays no part in
constituting the dream world, whereas by contrast the perceptual imagining of
dreams seems to be centre-stage in the process.
1. Dreaming and Words
(1) Whereas thought is completely translatable into language, which is its
completely adequate tool, dreaming is not: no dream comes to us purely
verbally, nor for that matter purely conceptually. So, at any rate, I should say.
But I think we need to take a closer look at this claim, even though the
phenomenological facts lend it some support. For example, when we recall a
dream we mostly recall a phenomenon involving visual imaginings along
with imagined willings, etc. While if we were non-visual creatures it seems
likely that our dreams would lean rather heavily upon tactile imaginings. And
if we lacked both sight and touch, we might perhaps dream of a voice which
described a world: that is, we might hear a voice and dream that things are
as the voice says they are, thereby putting to use the auditory together with the
propositional imagination.
These suppositions raise two questions. First, could one dream merely that
the world was a certain way? Could one have a dream whose entire content
was propositional? It would be a dream whose descriptive narrative tted its
object with the exactitude with which a sentence ts the content of a passing
thought, which it describes without remainder. And a closely related second
question: could one dream of a voice speaking a narrative, whose content
one discovered and dreamed in the double process of deciphering and
believing the sense of those words?
(2) There are dif culties in either suggestion. To begin, while there is nothing
to prevent one from having an experience during sleep which consisted in
ones entertaining the thought and belief that a certain proposition was true,
and while this might be accounted a dream by some, such a phenomenon is
not an apparent reproduction of consciousness. In a word, it is an entirely
different phenomenon from the phenomenon under investigation. In any case,
it should be noted that I am assuming the dream is a continuous experiential
process which endures across time. Then how could an intelligibly linked
continuous sequence of propositions come before the mind except through a
sequence of words coming into ones mind, and how could that happen except

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through ones dreaming a seeing or hearing of words, which is to say


through use of the perceptual imagination? What other mode is there in which
a connected series of thoughts could be transmitted continuously across time
to a receiving mind? How else other than through the piecemeal gathering of a
structured linguistic formation? Here we have one dif culty, raised by the
supposition that a pure sequence of propositions might be the entire content of
a dream. A second dif culty is raised by the supposition that even assuming
language were to be given to a dreaming consciousness in whatever way, that
ones mind should in the dream reach through those words to their content
through the use of ones understanding of that language, believe what those
words are saying as they occur, and in the twin processes of understanding
and believing be dreaming that content.
The situation in which one thinks aloud on ones feet, slowly fashioning in
vocal terms the linguistic statement of a gathering thought, and thinks various
unuttered thoughts in so doing, has a close parallel in the minds of the
listeners to this audible thinker. They hear with understanding something
which resembles the developing stages of a building which is being erected
through the use of bricks and other parts. Word-edi ces appear before the
mind, which at each stage are susceptible of a diminishing multiplicity of
interpretations, all of which nally get closed off until the listener is left with
one unambiguous interpretation, at which point the speaker is said to have
thought a thought and his listeners to have grasped a thought. Then just as this
thinker was thinking on his feet, so his hearers were thinking in their
armchairs. Therefore if we suppose such a thing to be going on during the
course of a dream, we in effect postulate a phenomenon in which thinking is
taking place simultaneously with a dreaming use of the perceptual and
propositional imagination. This hybrid is not a dream.
2. Dreaming and Perception
(1) It is because I cannot think of anything answering to the above
speci cations that I do not think one could have either a purely verbal or a
purely propositional dream. This nds corroboration in the following thought.
A proper or acceptable characterization of the dream is that in dreaming the
mind merely through its own resources seemingly but unsuccessfully
reproduces waking consciousness and its objects. Then in waking
consciousness the world is not given to us purely propositionally: it is not
known of purely in thought, nor sub specie aeternitatis like (say) the
theorems of algebra. The normal situation is that we encounter Reality from a
standpoint in space and time and concretely perceptually. Waking to
consciousness we nd it all palpably and visibly around us, given not merely
in thought and proposition, but actually and concretely. And by that I mean,
not just that one is conscious-that or aware-that it is there, even though this is

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certainly true. Rather, I mean that one is simply aware-of, or conscious-of, or


has experiences-of, the things amidst which we ourselves are situated.
Waking to consciousness is coming into a state in which our physical
surrounds and body are direct objects of awareness. Through perception we
directly experience those phenomenal realities. And concepts play second
ddle to psycho-physical causality in this phenomenon: the perceptual
encounter with the environment is as concrete as a blow between the eyes.
But the worlds concrete presence to consciousness does not just consist in
perception of the environment. Even before that it takes the form of the
awakeness of the perceptual attention, together with present knowledge of
the reality of the sector of the world that lies outside our own mind, which is
the potential direct object of the awake attention. When conscious (i) one
knows of the existence of the sector of the world lying outside our own mind,
(ii) one is possessed of the power perceptually to respond to incoming data
from outside, which is to say that the perceptual attention is awake or on,
and (iii) one has perceptual awareness of sectors of that domain, whether
positively (e.g. hearing sound) or negatively (e.g. hearing silence). The
mental presence of the outer world is thus more than cognition and/or
perception: it consists pre-eminently in the continuous readiness-to-respond
on the part of the attention to the causal impact of the already known-of
physical environment in which one is placed.
(2) Typically, the dream is an attempted reproduction of all this, since the
dream is an attempted reproduction of consciousness. The speci c faculty of
dreaming consists in the power imaginatively to conjure up a World in which
we nd ourselves, in ways which are modelled upon the above. That we can
respond internally to these imagined phenomenal objects, in the form of
thought-about or affective responses-to them, seems to be no more than the
minds normal powers being put to use in a dream context: a mental
phenomenon which is undoubtedly part of the dream, but secondary to the
exercise of the primary dream power, which is an imaginative power
constituted out of perceptual and propositional imaginings. These latter
powers take speci cally dream form: the perceptual power having much in
common with hallucinatory power, while dream propositional imagining is an
imagining-that which is a special case of belief-in.
Thus consciousness involves more than either knowledge or perception of
physical reality. In consciousness the physical World is a continuing concrete
presence to the mind, a phenomenon which takes the form of a steady
awakeness of the attention to an already known-of outer World. This is
part of the normal conscious condition. Then how is this feature of
consciousness to be reproduced by the imaginative powers of dreaming? How
do we manage to imagine the concrete presence of the physical environment?
How imagine it simpliciter so to say? I ask, because there are reasons for

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thinking that there can be no such thing as imagining-of a physical or indeed


any other object. So how do we imaginatively reproduce the aforementioned
fundamental element of waking consciousness?
It is achieved through imaginatively reproducing what occurs in waking
consciousness, viz. perception of the environment. That is, through the use of
the perceptual imagination. For example, through an imaginative seemingseeing. For whereas there is no just imagining-of an object, there is just
visual imagining-of an object, as in mental imagery. This is the main reason
our dreams are mostly visual dreams. But there is also a secondary reason for
this fact. In sight alone we are concretely aware-of, have experiences-of,
objects at a distance. Thus, the sound in hearing is not its object-source, any
more than the light in seeing is its object-source, but whereas the perceptual
attention does not in hearing pass on from sound to source, in the case of sight
it passes not through but on from the visible light mediator to the physical
object causes which then generally nd themselves intentionally represented
in the experience (seeing as ...). Hence in sight alone we are aware of the
physical environment stretching away into the distance. Then if in a dream we
are to imaginatively conjure up so extensive and spatially organized an
object, we have no alternative but to avail ourselves of the power of visual
imagining. This is the subsidiary reason our dreams take visual form. If we
were blind from birth, to achieve an imagining of a concretely present world
we would no doubt have to make use of the imaginative varieties of seemingfeeling or seeming-hearing, augmented in each case by extensive use of
propositional-imagining.
(3) Given such a seeming concrete presence, the propositional imagination
joins it in constituting the dream, for in the dream we tend to believe much
of what we see (though not necessarily because we see). These delusive
beliefs are imaginings-that, intrinsically and indexically bonded to the
products of the visual imagination. In the previous Section (1) I rejected
the supposition that the mind might in a dream be capable of conjuring up
a seemingly concretely present environment simply by calling upon our
powers of imagining-that such and such obtained. That judgment was
based on the assumption that this experiential process across time cannot
take the form of deciphering words given either (somehow) in
themselves or else auditorily since that would count as a form of
thinking and be inconsistent both with the non-rational state in which
dreaming occurs and in any case with dreaming itself. The question I was
left with was: whether one might, experientially across time, without direct
use of the perceptual imagination, and without deciphering language in a
process of thinking, create in ones mind a dreaming purely propositional
representation of a here and now present Physical Reality. My answer at
the end of this discussion is, no.

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Thus, any dreamer who is endowed with the power of visual perception is
almost inevitably going to dream in visual terms, which is to say through the
use of the visual imagination, which is in turn aided and abetted by the
propositional imagination in constituting the dream. In this way an imaginary
domain, modelled upon physical reality, stretches around and encompasses
the dreamer, who proceeds to respond mentally to and conduct himself
towards that world in ways which likewise are modelled upon normal life.

D. Dreaming and Consciousness


1. The Sense of Seeming Consciousness
(1) I have been describing the dream as a seeming or as if or quasi-
consciousness. Why so? The following considerations suggest it: that in the
dream we seem to ourselves to be conscious, that we are in a sense deceived
at the time by the experience, that on waking we discover that the world is
not like that (so that consciousness acts here as a corrective presumably of
something that was passing itself off as precisely that corrective agency
rather as a man might unmask an imposter posing as himself by appearing in
person upon the scene). Furthermore, we have the expression I dreamed ,
whose place- ller can be occupied by absolutely any episode in the conscious
experiential life of subjects. And the fact that we sometimes nd ourselves
wondering: did I really experience that, or did I only dream it? And so on.
But a problem now presents itself. For it is also natural to describe certain
other phenomena as seeming examples of some exemplar phenomenon. For
example, the visual hallucination, the visual mental-image, the mere visual
experience itself, are all naturally described as seeming-seeings. And yet in
each case these phenomena stand in a different relation to the seeing which in
some sense they seem. This implies that the sense of seeming - must vary
from case to case. Then the questions we should now consider are: what is the
sense of seeming, quasi-, as if that is applicable to the dream in the
dream is a seeming (etc.) consciousness? And: will discovering that sense
enable us to de ne the phenomenon of dreaming? Will it enable us to say
what dreaming is?
(2) It is tempting to opt for a re exive-cognitive analysis of seeming
consciousness, to take it to signify the property of seeming cognitively to be
consciousness. That is, to believe that dreaming is seeming cognitively to be
conscious. After all, it may well be that one does believe such a thing at the
time, and legitimate therefore to predicate being a seeming consciousness
(in that sense) of dreaming. However, if by the dream is a seeming
consciousness we purport rather to be descriptively characterizing the
phenomenon of dreaming which is what the above considerations argue,

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and how I have understood the sentence throughout this article then the
re exive-cognitive reading must be rejected, since the one property is
descriptive and the other relational.
An additional and equally decisive reason for rejecting that reading is to be
found in the dreams of non-rational animals. For non-rational animals are
both conscious in precisely the sense humans are stunned meaning the
same of man or beast, and dream in the same sense their dreaming being
equally a quasi-consciousness, yet do not entertain beliefs concerning their
dreaming. After all, the claim I am attempting to analyse is that when one
dreams it is as if one is conscious, and this is surely a different claim from the
assertion that when one dreams one believes one is conscious. Indeed, since
consciousness itself is not in the nature of a belief, it is evident that a
phenomenon which at the time is experienced as consciousness cannot take
the form of a belief.
(3) One other theory concerning the particular sense of seeming under
consideration should be examined. When we describe a visual experience as a
seeming-seeing we mean, not that we believe it a seeing, but that
experientially it is the same: we mean it is the same experience. Then one
might be inclined, perhaps in the spirit of Descartess Meditations, to say such
a thing of dreaming, to claim it is experientially the same as waking.
However, this theory cannot be correct. One reason is that the stream of
consciousness of the conscious is a suf ciency for consciousness, and
consciousness is inconsistent with dreaming. Consciousness is an internally
self-validating phenomenon, an internal state suf cient unto itself. Thus, the
phenomenal condition consciousness is not re-describable as consciousness, consciousness being essentially consciousness. For example, consciousness is not re-describable as consciousness in the light of nding some
object which is a necessary condition of its falling under consciousness. As
an example, consciousness is not the perception of anything. It is not even the
perception of Reality.
Here we have a decisive reason why dreaming cannot be experientially the
same as consciousness. But in any case it is clear that consciousness involves
experiences which are not found in dreaming. The prime example is the
continuous process of thinking, which is (in my opinion) necessary and
suf cient for consciousness. But quite apart from that quintessential
phenomenon, the mental activeness which is a pervasive and continuous
presence in waking consciousness is at best only sporadically reproduced in
the dream in stray occurrences of thought. Consciousness necessitates an
overall mental activeness, for the reason that the conscious are in control of
the overall movement of their own minds, and the dream is an essentially
inactive phenomenon. Finally, one might instance those experiences which
evidence the awakeness of the perceptual attention in consciousness: visual

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and kinaesthetic experience, etc., phenomena which in the dream are replaced
by perceptual imaginings.

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2. Is Dreaming an Imagining-of Consciousness?


(1) The conclusion is that dreaming is a seeming consciousness, but not in the
sense that one believes it is consciousness, nor in the sense that it is
experientially the same. Both are on the wrong track. However, one
interesting fact may help to point us in the right direction. It is that while
dreaming is a seeming consciousness, it is not consciousness: indeed, it of
necessity is not consciousness, for the irrationality of one state contradicts the
rationality of the other. Then this con uence of properties suggests that in the
dream we might be imagining consciousness, for we encounter the identical
properties in imagining. But in what sense of imagining? I ask, because
imagining takes two forms: direct (imagining-of) and propositional
(imagining-that) objects. Then we can at once reject the latter possibility.
Dreaming cannot be an imaging-that one is conscious, since imagining-that is
either belief-in a proposition (e.g. paranoid delusions) or make belief in a
proposition (as in reading a story), and neither are viable accounts of
dreaming. As we earlier noted, dreaming is not a belief. And neither is it a
make believing, which is a voluntary phenomenon that fails to reproduce
both the cognitive commitment of the dream and that seeming concrete
presence of the world which in the dream takes the form of perceptualimagining.
Accordingly, the question I shall be considering is whether dreaming is an
imagining-of consciousness. Is it, so to say, an hallucination of consciousness,
an imagining which at the time seems illusorily to be experientially the same
as the imagined phenomenon? Then what is involved in direct-object
imagining? What does dreaming is an imagining-of consciousness assert?
Preliminary clari cation is gained by noting that it cannot be saying that
consciousness is the intentional object of dreaming. After all, to posit an
imagining-of relation is not so much to posit an object for the imagining as a
model: direct-object imagining is modelled upon the imagined. Thus, the
relation is in some sense closer than that of subject-to-object. The imagining
is, so to say, trying to be like its model. It is a kind of vain attempt to change
its spots.
(2) We can see what is involved in imagining-of by looking at paradigms like
the visual mental-image or hallucination, both of which are imaginings-of
seeing. These imaginings relate to seeing in the following way. The
imagining phenomenon is (i) an as if seeing, (ii) it is not seeing, (iii) and is so
of necessity, and (iv) that is all it is. And that is to say that this perfectly real
phenomenon is pure as if: its as if-ness exhausts its being. (It is a sort of

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ghost of its model.) However, this explication remains incomplete until we


spell out the precise sense of as if that is involved. That is to be
accomplished by an appeal to word-senses of the following kind.
What is the primitive evidence of experiencing a mental-image? The
primitive linguistic evidence that which we would expect to nd
exempli ed in a young child who was experiencing visual imagery for the
rst time would be a use of language in which the word see plays a vital
part. And the primitive non-linguistic evidence would be, failing to believe in
the presence of the seen. Further, were one to be explaining the sense of
mental-image or hallucination to someone who had never before
encountered these phenomena either in self or others, and was now for the
rst time experiencing them, then here too the word see would of necessity
be pressed into use in that explanation. What these facts tell us is that the use
of see in explaining the above senses is of necessity a secondary or
derivative use. It informs us that the phenomenon in question is essentially
modelled upon seeing. But exactly how? It seems to me that the explanation is
complete when we conjoin with the above property the remaining three
elements encountered in the analysis of imagining-of. They were to the
following effect: that the imagining-of is purely and essentially an as-if that is
of necessity not the imagined.
(3) What we must now consider is whether dreaming relates in this way to
consciousness? Is it not merely an as-if consciousness, but purely and
essentially an as-if consciousness that of necessity is not consciousness? The
following considerations support this claim.
The rst reason is that dreaming is a seeming-consciousness in the strong
sense necessitated by imagining-of. We have already seen that it is a seemingconsciousness in that waking consciousness brings realization that the World
is not as it had appeared in the dream, and therefore that in the dream the
World must seemingly have been presented to a consciousness. Then the
stronger claim regarding dreaming exactly parallels the stronger visual claim
(thereby nalizing the sense of as if). Just as imaginative see is essentially
modelled on perceptual see, so the claim here is that the sense of dream
relates identically to the sense of awake. Consider the primitive linguistic
and extra-linguistic evidences of dreaming, and how they relate to
consciousness. Think of a young child who has never before dreamed,
waking slowly from a very vivid dream in which he was chased by a bear. It is
probable that he will say something like I was being chased, rather than I
was awake. Nevertheless, the speech-presumptions of his utterance will
surely be the same as those governing past-tense reports of recent conscious
incident. It is simply not evident to the very young initiate that the recently
dreamed did not happen. Why should it be? Normal probabilistic
considerations will almost certainly carry little weight at such an age. In

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this regard, recent dreams are in the very young to be contrasted with recent
mental-imagery, the report of which would import altogether different
speech-presumptions from the dream. Thus the dream is given initially to the
dreamer under the concept of wakefulness, and only subsequently brought
under that of dreaming. Then since the latter conceptualization is to be
accomplished only through the agency of the former conceptualization, the
concept of the dream must be born of that of wakefulness.
The next reason in favour of the theory has already been noted. It is that
dreaming is not consciousness, and of necessity. And the reasons behind this
judgment have also been set out: namely, that whereas consciousness is a
rational condition dreaming is irrational; and whereas the one is overall
mentally active and in particular encompasses the steady activeness of
thinking, the other is essentially inactive; and while consciousness involves
awakeness of the perceptual attention, dreaming depends upon its closure or
sleep; and whereas when conscious we see ahead to and engineer our
immediate mental future (under a limited description), in dreaming the mental
future simply comes at us out of the blue.
(4) The question I am asking is: whether the being of dreaming is exhausted
by its being essentially modelled upon and necessarily not being consciousness? The above reasons in favour of such a view can be augmented by the
following.
For the most part the dream is the work of the imagination, generating an
apparent reproduction of consciousness. This achievement necessitates the
seeming reproduction in the dream of the main elements of consciousness, the
incorporation within itself of counterpart-elements which are as-if their
model original. In Section B it emerged that whereas the mental
impoverishment of the trance ensures that the state lacks the means for such
matching, the dream realized a suf cient measure of the complexity and
interiority of waking life to make this at least a possibility. In fact the dream
needs to preserve enough of the properties of consciousness to be capable of
being as-if that state, without at the same time actually reproducing it.
Meanwhile the dream has to negate consciousness. For necessarily
dreaming is not the stream of consciousness of the conscious. And this
negation cannot be con ned to dreaming as a whole: in addition, the
constituents of the dream must negate their counterpart-elements in
consciousness. The reason for this is that the constituents of the modelstate consciousness form a logically bonded whole: experience with
rationality entailing self-knowledge, thinking entailing rationality, and so
on. And the same must be true of the dream. Thus, in place of rational
function as the determinant of cognitive attitudes when conscious, we nd in
the dream the imagination, in place of perception as epistemological access to
physical reality, we nd perceptual-imagining, etc. This substitution of strict

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antitheses applies even to the mental constituting of a World: the unreal


imagined World of the dream corresponding to the real World given to
consciousness. For just as consciousness is awareness of the World, in a nonperceptual sense of aware, so the dream is awareness of an unreal World that
is assembled by an omnipotent imagination which knows no limit beyond that
imposed by mere narratability the limitlessness of its power matching such
an object.
Dreaming is thus a strange mirroring of consciousness, wherein each
element in the latter nds in the former a re ection in which its character is
inverted, including the very World given to awareness. The only element
preserved is experience, together with the odd thought or affective response.
All else is transmutation: reason becoming unreason, mental activeness
inactiveness, knowledge error, perception imagining, Reality Unreality,
future-awareness future-oblivion: the one relating to the other as light relates
to dark or day to night, as contradictory rather than contrary. For there is not
the World of consciousness and the World of the dream and other Worlds
without limit which are the necessary objects of other non-conscious
experiential phenomena: there is nothing but the real World and the unreal
World of the imagination (encountered uniquely in the dream). And so while
preserving correspondence of elements, the dream is none the less as far from
consciousness as it is possible to be: it appears at the other end of the Universe
in which consciousness appears. It is limitlessly remote, not in the mode of
impoverishment of the trance, but in the absolute negating of its model,
element for element and totality for totality. This almost wholly exact
mirroring is a reason for thinking that all there is to the dream is the
imaginative seeming-reproduction of consciousness. If each element has its
negative counterpart, it seems a natural conclusion. This consideration lends
weight to the theory that dreaming simply is imagining-of consciousness.
3. Unity Within Consciousness and the Dream
(1) I have argued that the being of dreaming is exhausted by its being a merely
as-if consciousness. The model has been visual imagining and its relation to
seeing. However, this theory encounters a dif culty. It arises owing to the fact
that whereas visual imaginings and visual experiences have no event-parts
and are qualitatively homogeneous, both dreams and consciousness have
distinct parts of diverse kinds. How could a dream complex of assorted parts
be merely as-if a conscious complex of different parts? How could its very
being be exhausted by being merely quasi- the other? Does not the sheer
multiplicity of events, states, and types, render this impossible?
(2) But there are complexes and complexes, as one might say. Thus, the
term complex can be put to a variety of uses. The simplest application of the

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word, in which the object literally is a complex, is the set. And no doubt it is
unintelligible to suppose that the set of parts constituting the dream could
stand to the set composing consciousness in the relation required if some one
thing is to be imagining-of another. But in fact dream and consciousness are
complexities only in the sense of possessing distinct parts of differing types,
and neither can be identi ed with the set of its own parts. Consciousness is a
single occurrent condition, and likewise the dream a single on-going process
(as we saw in A(1) when we rejected the suggestion that the dream might be a
mere concatenation). Each are single phenomena of determinate type,
whose constituent parts are bound together by the bonds appropriate to their
kind. Moreover, it will emerge that both the constituents parts and the bonds
uniting them are in each case of a special order.
So let us look a little more closely at the constituents of the dream. To my
mind they are not all on the same footing. Thus, dream belief seems more
important in constituting the dream than does dream affect. Dreams readily
enough occur in the absence of affect, but it is dif cult to think of a dream in
which things do not cognitively seem one way rather than another. This
suggests that we make a mistake if we conceive of the dream as a uni ed
complex of equals, a sort of molecule of the mind, an analogue of (say)
C12H22O11. My impression is that it is made up of more and less dreammaking constituents. Indeed, of necessary and contingent elements. For
example, as well as the above imagining-that of dreams, the perceptual
imagining which plays the fundamental role of scene-setter, a variety of (say)
visual imagining in its own right, not to be confused with other forms of
visual imagining such as the hallucination or mental-image. These two
cognitively signi cant elements seem necessary, are typically in unison with
one another, and from the point of view of necessitation are to be contrasted
with affect, passing thoughts, seeming bodily actions, and such-like.
(3) And in fact the comparison with C12H22O11 is doubly awed. It is not just
that some parts of the dream are necessities and some not, there is reason to
think that the necessary parts of a dream are welded together by much
stronger forces than are available in the case of fully autonomous entities like
(say) physical atoms. And such a situation is not without precedent. As we
saw in the previous Section (4), we encounter precisely the same state of
affairs in the phenomenon which is model for the dream, viz. consciousness.
Thus, the parts of consciousness are united by bonds of a logical order. For
example, while the occurrence of experience on its own is consistent with
diverse states of consciousness, experience conjoined with rationality of mind
entails the presence of consciousness and all that the state brings with it,
such as a proper measure of knowledge of the present contents of ones own
mind (insight), the steady presence of the thinking process, an overall
activeness of mind, and so forth. Conversely, insight and experience entail

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the presence of all the other members of the same charmed circle of
properties. In a word, a relation of logical equivalence holds between various
sub-sets of the properties constituting consciousness, a relation of a kind
which could not conceivably hold between (say) the atomic constituents of a
physical molecule. What this implies is, that despite the complexity of
consciousness, the state is not merely a uni ed single entity of determinate
kind, but an entity which is welded together by the strongest forces
imaginable. It is one thing in the strongest possible sense.
The same is true of the dream. For it is (say) inconceivable that dream
beliefs should for the most part be inactive imaginings without the prevailing
state of mind of the dreamer being non-rational. And it is inconceivable that
the mental future should be completely unknown without inactiveness of
mind. Or that inactiveness of the mind obtain in the steady presence of
thinking. And so on. Here, too, we discover logical equivalences between
sub-sets of the properties composing dreaming. As with consciousness, we
are in the presence here of a phenomenon which in the strongest possible
sense is one thing.
(4) Then why should not the latter one thing of complex make-up, the one
charmed circle of uni ed antithetical properties, have its very being
exhausted in being merely as-if the other circle of uni ed thetic properties?
If a strict mirroring relation holds in which every necessary element making
up the one experiential phenomenon discovers its antithesis in those
constituting the other, if the antithetical element is in each case merely asif the thetic rather than the reverse, and if the bond uniting these elements is
of such overwhelming strength, I can see nothing problematic in the presence
of complexity in two phenomena relating thus as imagining to imagined.
Received 20 August 2002
Brian OShaughnessy , 22 Heath Hurst Road, Hampstead, London NW3 2RX, UK. E-mail:
b.oshaughnessy@talk21.com