Is the "imagery debate" over? If so, what was it about?
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In E. Dupoux, S. Dehane & L. Cohen (eds.), Cognition: A Critical Look. Advances, Questions and Controversies in Honor of J. Mehler. MIT Press (2002)
Jacques Mehler was notoriously charitable in embracing a diversity of approaches to science and to the use of many different methodologies. One place where his ecumenism brought the two of us into disagreement is when the evidence of brain imaging was cited in support of different psychological doctrines, such as the picture-theory of mental imagery. Jacques remained steadfast in his faith in the ability of neuroscience data (where the main source of evidence has been from clinical neurology and neuro-imaging) to choose among different psychological positions. I personally have seen little reason for this optimism so Jacques and I frequently found ourselves disagreeing on this issue, though I should add that we rarely disagreed on substantive issues on which we both had views. This particular bone of contention, however, kept us busy at parties and during the many commutes between New York and New Jersey, where Jacques was a frequent visitor at the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science. Now that I am in a position where he is a captive audience it seems an opportune time to raise the question again
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