The photographic fallacy in the debate about mental imagery

Noûs 17 (November):651-62 (1983)
There has been considerable debate among philosophers and psychol- ogists about whether the internal representations of imagery represent in the manner of pictures or in the manner of language. One side, pictorialism,holds that an internal imagery representation of Reagan is like a picture of Reagan. The other side, descriptionalism,holds that an internal imagery representation of Reagan is more like a string of words denoting or describing Reagan. My aim here is to expose a widespread fallacy on the part of the descriptionalists. In the course of so doing, I try to clarify the pictorialist position, and show how it can undercut what appears to be a category of evidence for the other side.
Keywords Descriptivism  Mental Image  Metaphysics  Photography  Pictorialism
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DOI 10.2307/2215087
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Ned Block (2007). Overflow, Access, and Attention. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5-6):530-548.
John Kulvicki (2006). Pictorial Representation. Philosophy Compass 1 (6):535–546.

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