- The term phantasticon comes from the Greek noun phantastikon, which was used by the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC) to denote what is now known as the imagination or fantasy. It was reintroduced in or shortly before 1826 by the German physiologist and zoologist Johannes Peter Müller (1801-1858) to denote the hypothetical intracerebral structure which he deemed responsible for the mediation of imaginary images. According to Müller, the phantas-ticon controls the innermost springs of vision. As he writes, "For example, fever will stimulate the Phantastikon and cause the only reaction that it can have, namely, the production of free, spontaneous hallucinations." With hindsight, one may note a certain conceptual analogy between Müller's ideas on the phantasticon and the * qualia theory of hallucinations: In either case, a hypothetical intracerebral structure is endowed with the intrinsic capacity to generate hallucinatory phenomena.ReferencesBerrios, G.E. (2005). On the fantastic apparitions of vision by Johannes Müller. History of Psychiatry, 16, 229-246.Müller J. (1826). Ueber die Phantastischen Gesichtserscheinungen. Koblenz: Hölscher.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.
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