The “philosophical” case against visual images

In P. Slezak, T. Caelli & R. Clark (eds.), Perspectives on Cognitive Science, Volume 1: Theories, Experiments, and Foundations. Ablex Publishing (1995)
In their study of reasoning with diagrammatic and non-diagrammatic representations, Larkin and Simon (1987) are concerned with _external_ representations and explicitly avoid drawing inferences about the bearing of their work on the issue of internal, mental representations. Nonetheless, we may infer the bearing of their work on internal representations from the theories of Kosslyn, Finke and other ‘pictorialists’ who take internal representations to be importantly like external ones regarding their ‘privileged’ spatial properties of depicting and resembling their referents. Thus, Finke (1990) suggests that “perceptual interpretive processes are applied to mental images in much the same way that they are applied to actual physical objects. In this sense, imagined objects can be “interpreted” much like physical objects” (1990, p. 18). Elsewhere he suggests that “The image discoveries which then ‘emerge’ resemble the way perceptual discoveries can follow the active exploration and manipulation of physical objects” (1990, p. 171)
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