Exorcizing the ghost of mental imagery

Computational Intelligence 9 (4):337-339 (1993)
Abstract
The problem seems apparent even in Glasgow's term ``depict'', which is used by way of contrast with ``describe''. Now ``describe'' refers relatively unproblematically to strings of symbols, such as those in this written sentence, that are systematically interpretable as propositions describing objects, events, or states of affairs. But what does ``depict'' mean? In the case of a picture -- whether a photo or a diagram -- it is clear what depict means. A picture is an object (I will argue below that it is an analog object, relative to what it is a picture of) and it DEPICTS yet another object: the object it is a picture OF. But in the case of an array, whether described formally, with numerical coordinates, or stored in a machine, or ``depicted'' diagrammatically by way of a secondary illustration, it is not at all clear whether the entity in question is indeed a picture, or merely yet another set of symbols that is INTERPRETABLE as referring to a picture, which picture in turn depicts an object! It is clear that we are dealing with many layers of interpretation here already, and so far we are still talking only about external objects (such as pictures, symbols and objects simpliciter). We still have not gotten to MENTAL objects, such as mental ``images''
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