Griot 18 (2):143-160 (2018)

In his last book (2008), Bas van Fraassen, the originator of constructive empiricism, put forward a table containing a categorization of images. His aim, however, was to discuss the reality of what they represent and not addressing the issue of images per se. One of the consequences is that it remained an open question what ‘public hallucinations’ - reflections in the water, rainbows and the like - are. In this paper it will be defended that only images in the relevant (representational) sense should be considered as such. For this and other reasons, van Fraassen’s diagram should be amended. Moreover, as Physics teaches us, the class of the so-called ‘images’ that are actually objects is wider than van Fraassen reckons. The set of the observable objects do not contain only concrete things, but goes beyond what ‘common sense realism’ suggests. In addition to rocks, oceans and bicycles, we can also see rainbows, reflections in the water and the like.
Keywords Constructive Empiricism  van Fraassen  Observation  Images  Public hallucinations
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