Homunculus fallacy



When people talk about how it feels to look at something they often describe their conscious self as being inside their bodies or brain and looking out through their eyes. This feeling that your self-awareness is inside your body is combined with the fact that your consciousness has its own body image. If you shut your eyes, it is easy to imagine your body. When you add the two together, you have the homunculus — the feeling that you are inside your body looking out and the you that is looking out is a smaller version of your bigger self. Your conscious self is homunculus within your body or like the babushka doll. The fallacy can be revealed by asking how the homunculus sees. The quick and tempting answer is that there is another homunculus inside the first one, but this just gives you an infinite series — an infinite set of babushka dolls.  The homunculus does not provide an explanation or additional information. It is a dead end and a fallacy.



Name of fallacy Homunculus fallacy
Aliases  
Type Deductive Argument, Formal Argument
Description Where a "middle-man" is used for explanation. Example: Vision is like a a 'little man' or 'homunculus' inside the brain 'looking at' the movie. But how does the little man's vision work?
Example  
Form 
Treatment Show that the argument contains no additional useful information, it is regressive and the original question still remains unanswered.