I examine the passages where Aristotle maintains that intellectual activity employs φαντάσματα (images) and argue that he requires awareness of the relevant images. This, together with Aristotle’s claims about the universality of understanding, gives us reason to reject the interpretation of Michael Wedin and Victor Caston, on which φαντάσματα serve as the material basis for thinking. I develop a new interpretation by unpacking the comparison Aristotle makes to the role of diagrams in doing geometry. In theoretical understanding of (...) mathematical and natural beings, we usually need to employ appropriate φαντάσματα in order to grasp explanatory connections. Aristotle does not, however, commit himself to thinking that images are required for exercising all theoretical understanding. Understanding immaterial things, in particular, may not involve employing phantasmata. Thus the connection that Aristotle makes between images and understanding does not rule out the possibility that human intellectual activity could occur apart from the body. (shrink)
Husserl’s extensive analyses of image consciousness (Bildbewusstsein) and of the imagination (Phantasie) offer insightful and detailed structural explications. However, despite this careful work, Husserl’s discussions fail to overcome the need to rely on a most problematic concept: mental images. The epistemological conundrums triggered by the conceptual framework of mental images are well known—we have only to remember the questions regarding knowledge acquisition that plagued British empiricism. Beyond these problems, however, a plethora of important questions arise from claiming that (...) mental images are structural moments of imaging and imagining. Any attempt to clarify the structure and conditions for the possibility of aesthetic experience must first provide an unambiguous account of pictorial depiction—a task unattainable through the mental images discourse. Similarly, exposing the import of the imagination for theoretical scientific inquiries (be they positive or eidetic) requires an initial explication of the structure of this consciousness; this explication, however, must address our ability to imagine non-spatially determined objects—something the conceptual framework of mental images utterly fails to accomplish. In this paper I argue against Husserl’s reliance on mental images in his phenomenological analyses of imaging and imagining and propose an alternative structural account for both. This account is free of this reliance and able to steer clear of its insidious implications for epistemology, aesthetics, and methodological reflections. By closely following the development of Husserl’s account I suggest alternative descriptions while building on Husserl’s important work. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to offer a systematic analysis of a feature of Kant’s theory of perception that tends to be overlooked, viz., his account of how the imagination forms images in perception. Although Kant emphasizes the centrality of this feature of perception, indeed, calling it a ‘necessary ingredient’ of perception, commentators have instead focused primarily on his account of sensibility and intuitions on the one hand, and understanding and concepts on the other. However, I show that (...) careful attention to what he says about the nature of images, their connection to the imagination, and their role in perception in his Metaphysics Lectures, as well as in the Deduction and Schematism chapters of the first Critique reveals that Kant is working with a richer, more nuanced framework for perception than is often attributed to him. I contend that it is only once we have a revised framework for Kant’s theory of perception in place that we will be able to make further headway in debates, e.g., about whether or not he is a conceptualist about perception. (shrink)
Advertisers often use computers to create fantastic images. Generally, these are perfectly harmless images that are used for comic or dramatic effect. Sometimes, however, they are problematic human images that I call computer-generated images of perfection. Advertisers create these images by using computer technology to remove unwanted traits from models or to generate entire human bodies. They are images that portray ideal human beauty, bodies, or looks. In this paper, I argue that the use (...) of such images is unethical. I begin by explaining the common objections against advertising and by demonstrating how critics might argue that those objections apply to computer-generated images of perfection. Along the way, I demonstrate an ethically significant difference between computer-generated images of perfection and the images in ordinary ads. I argue that although critics might use this fact to apply the common objections to the use of computer-generated images of perfection, the objections fail. Finally, I argue that despite surviving the common objections, the use of computer-generated images of perfection is subject to an ethical objection that is based on aesthetic considerations. Advertisers are ethically obligated to avoid certain aesthetic results that are produced by computer-generated images of perfection. (shrink)
Recent philosophical analyses of the epistemic dimension of images in the sciences show a certain trend in acknowledging potential roles of these images beyond their merely decorative or pedagogical functions. We argue, however, that this new debate has yet paid little attention to a special type of pictures, we call ‘visual metaphor’, and its versatile heuristic potential in organizing data, supporting communication, and guiding research, modeling, and theory formation. Based on a case study of Conrad Hal Waddington’s epigenetic (...) landscape images in biology, we develop a descriptive framework applicable to heuristic roles of various visual metaphors in the sciences. (shrink)
In this essay, I will argue that images can play a substantial role in argumentation: exploiting information from the context, they can contribute directly and substantially to the communication of the propositions that play the roles of premises and conclusion. Furthermore, they can achieve this directly, i.e. without the need of verbalization. I will ground this claim by presenting and analyzing some arguments where images are essential to the argumentation process.
Given that many imaging technologies in biology and medicine are non-optical and generate data that is essentially numerical, it is a striking feature of these technologies that the data generated using them are most frequently displayed in the form of semi-naturalistic, photograph-like images. In this paper, I claim that three factors underlie this: (1) historical preferences, (2) the rhetorical power of images, and (3) the cognitive accessibility of data presented in the form of images. The third of (...) these can be argued to provide an epistemic advantage to images, but I will further argue that this is often misleading and that images can in many cases be less informative than the corresponding mathematical data. (shrink)
This essay examines the problems encountered in contemporary attempts to establish a typology of medieval and early modern scientific images, and to associate apparent types with certain standard meanings. Five particular issues are addressed here: the unclear boundary between words and images; the problem of morphologically similar images possessing incompatible meanings; the converse problem of comparable objects or processes being expressed by extremely dissimilar visual means; the impossibility of matching modern with historical iconographical terminologies; and the fact (...) that the meaning of a given image can only be grasped in the context of the epistemological, metaphysical and social assumptions within which it is embedded. The essay ends by concluding that no scientific image can ever be understood apart from its philosophical preconditions, and that these preconditions are often explained during disputes between the protagonists of different iconographical types. (shrink)
Wilfrid Sellars famously argued that we find ourselves simultaneously presented with the scientific and manifest images and that the primary aim of philosophy is to reconcile the competing conceptions of ourselves and our place in the world they offer. I first argue that Sellars’ own attempts at such a reconciliation must be judged a failure. I then go on to point out that Sellars has invited us to join him in idealizing and constructing the manifest and scientific images (...) by conflating a number of importantly distinct contrasts between heterogeneous forms of representation we employ and to argue that we are better off declining this invitation. Recognizing the important differences between these contrasts does not simply obviate the problems of integrating, connecting, and reconciling the various sorts of representations we have of various parts of the world and our own place within it, but it reveals as misguided the notion that there is just a single, fundamental problem of such reconciliation to be solved. It also suggests a potentially far more promising starting point for trying to satisfy the fundamental ambition Sellars attributes to philosophical inquiry itself. (shrink)
Without doubt, there is a great diversity of scientific images both with regard to their appearances and their functions. Diagrams, photographs, drawings, etc. serve as evidence in publications, as eye-catchers in presentations, as surrogates for the research object in scientific reasoning. This fact has been highlighted by Stephen M. Downes who takes this diversity as a reason to argue against a unifying representation-based account of how visualisations play their epistemic role in science. In the following paper, I will suggest (...) an alternative explanation of the diversity of scientific images. This account refers to processes which are caused by the social setting of science. What exactly is meant by this, I will spell out with the aid of Ludwik Fleck’s theory of the social mechanisms of scientific communication. (shrink)
Zhuangzi is considered a creative poet-philosopher because of his use of imaginative images. He used the imaginative images of his system to construct the world of the Dao. He left the essence of material things as they are to speak for the mystery of existence itself, and let them express both the state of and the dream for human freedom. Zhuangzi’s way of using images shows his own lack of the understanding about images, and his lack (...) of adequate assessments. He used images in accord with his own personal preferences and fixed characteristics. He also had a tendency to equate the Dao which he experienced in his mind with the Dao itself. These shortcomings limit his improving and understanding of the Dao, so that his Dao failed to become more open to a wider existence. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that the clash of the Sellars’ two images is particularly acute in the case of time. In Time and the World Order Sellars seems embarked on a quest to locate manifest time in Minkowski spacetime. I suggest that he should have argued for the replacement of manifest time with the local, path-dependent time of the “scientific image”, just as he suggests that manifest objects must be replaced by their scientific counterparts.
Most discussion of Sellars’ deployment of the distinct images of “man-in-the-world” in "Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man" focus entirely on the manifest and the scientific images. But the original image is important as well. In this essay I explore the importance of the original image to the Sellarsian project of naturalizing epistemology, connecting Sellars’ insights regarding this image to recent work in cognitive development.
Fifty years ago the philosopher Wilfred Sellars identified two images of “man”, which he called respectively the “manifest image” and the “scientific image”; and he considered whether and how these two images could be reconciled. In this paper, I will very briefly look at the distinction drawn by Sellars and at his suggestions for reconciliation of these images. I will suggest that a broad distinction as suggested by Sellars can indeed usefully be drawn, but that the distinction (...) can be more helpfully characterised than it was by Sellars. I will argue that there are more ways of reconciling the two images than those proposed by Sellars. And I will elaborate on what I think are the most promising lines along which the reconciliation could take place. (shrink)
Photography has often been scrutinized regarding its relationship to reality or historical truth. This includes not only the indexicality of photography, but also the question of how structures and processes that comprise history and historical events can be depicted. In this context, the Holocaust provides a particular challenge to photography. As has been discussed in numerous publications, this historic event marks the “limits of representation.” Nevertheless there are many photographs “showing” the Holocaust that have been produced in different contexts that (...) bespeak the photographers’ gaze and the circumstances of the photographs’ production. Some of the pictures have become very well known due to their frequent reproduction, even though they often do not show the annihilation itself, but situations different from that; their interpretation as Holocaust pictures results rather from a metonymic deferral. When these pictures are frequently reproduced they are transformed into symbolic images, that is, images that can be removed from their specific context, and in this way they come to signify abstract concepts such as “evil.” Despite being removed from their specific context these images can, as this essay argues, refer to historical truth. First, I explore the arguments of some key theorists of photography to investigate the relationship between photography and reality in general, looking at their different concepts of reality, history, and historical truth, as well as the question of the meaning of images. Second, I describe the individual circumstances in which some famous Holocaust pictures were taken in order to analyze, by means of three examples, the question what makes these specific pictures so particularly suitable to becoming symbolic images and why they may—despite their abstract meaning—be able to depict historical truth. (shrink)
Discusses consciousness as an island of images, which informs us incompletely and indirectly about the mental and the physical worlds. A dualistic worldview separates the perceptual world from the transcendental physical world. Both universes of discourse are empowered by dynamic forces and are related to each other by reflection, the one reflecting the other. The physical world is understood and operated through the intermediary of perception. 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
Since the introduction of ultrasound technology in the 1960s as a tool to visibly articulate the interiors of the pregnant body, feminist scholars across disciplines have provided extensive critique regarding the visual culture of fetal imagery. Central to this discourse is the position that fetal images occupy- as products of a visualizing technology that at once penetrates and severs pregnant and fetal bodies. This visual excision, feminist scholars describe, has led not only to an erasure of the female body (...) from fetal images but also to an erasure of the pregnant body in social, political, and biomedical discourses. Vital to feminist scholarship is, thereby, an engagement with fetal images in ways that reinscribe the pregnant body onto fetal images and into political discourses pertaining to reproductive rights. In this paper, similar to the feminist aim, I am interested in engaging with fetal images as way to gain agency for pregnant women and their bodies. The critical question that I ask is: Can we conceive of medical technology in an embodied way -one that interacts organically, dynamically, and through multisensory dimensions with pregnant bodies? In attempting to answer this question, I turn to Bruno Latour and Gilles Deleuze’s articulations of how bodies and machines interact to produce visual fact. (shrink)
In his temporal philosophy based on the writing of Henri Bergson, Gilles Deleuze describes duration ( durée ) as a becoming that endures in time. Reifications of this complex philosophical concept become artistically expressed, I argue, in the form and content of South African artist William Kentridge's series of 'charcoal drawings for projection.' These exhibited art works provide intriguing and illuminating 'philosophical' examples of animated audio-visual media, which expressively plicate distinct images of movement and time. The composition of Kentridge's (...) films at once illuminate a regime of animated 'movement-images' that can trace their aetiological roots to classical forms of film and animation, whilst concurrently folding in complex philosophical expressions of time as duration which invoke the crystalline 'time-image' concepts of philosophers such as Bergson and Deleuze, as well as literary authors like Marcel Proust. Over and above these co-existent regimes of movement and time, Kentridge's artistic technique and exhibition practices further expose a multifarious 'geology' of other embedded time lines that serve to enrich/complicate these temporal expressions. I argue here that diegetic time- and movement-images ostensibly co-exist alongside different 'archaeologies' of time relevant to the context and creation of the artworks. For this reason, the animated drawings formulate intriguing artistic/philosophical expressions that muse on the nature of matter, memory, time and space. (shrink)
This study offers an overview of the opposing attitudes towards the image worship in the Early Christianity and the Late Antiquity. It shows that a dichotomy between creation and veneration of images on one side and iconoclastic tendencies on the other side persisted in the Christian tradition throughout the first seven centuries. While the representations of holy figures and holy events increased in number throughout theByzantine Empire, they led to a puritanical reaction by those who saw the practice of (...) image worship as little removed from the anthropomorphic features of polytheistic religious cults. Hence, as the role of images grew so did the resistance against them, and the two contrasting positions in the Christian context initiated the outbreak of the Iconoclastic Controversy, when the theological discourse concerning icons became ever more subtle, culminating in the development of the iconophile and iconoclastic teachings on the holy images. Both the iconophile and the iconoclasts based their apologia on passages from the Synoptic Gospels, evidence of the artistic tradition as well as florilegia or systematic collections of excerpts from the works of the Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers of the early period in support of their claim; much of this evidence is surveyed in this paper, although the Iconoclastic Controversy is not analysed. (shrink)
With calls for (business) leaders to contribute to greater global fairness and social justice (BAWB 2006; Maak and Pless Journal of Business Ethics, 88, 537–550, 2009), this paper considers gender equality on University home web page images as one means of communicating equal access to leadership roles for both men and women. Although there are many paths for leadership development, one important purpose of Universities is to create people who will potentially become leaders in our society (Shapiro 2005). We (...) analyzed the home web pages at 24 leading universities to identify implicit messages about gender roles, building on implicit leadership theory and leadership prototypes. Using an adapted version of Goffman’s frame analysis (1979), our results suggest depiction of gender equality in university home web pages, in contrast to studies of print advertisements (cf., Kang Sex Roles, 37(11/12), 979–996, 1997; Lindner Sex Roles, 51(7/8), 409–421, 2004). Our results also identify specific opportunities to depict greater equity and to continue to expand the potential for both women and men to be seen as being capable and belonging on this leadership path. (shrink)
As one tries to grasp love and its images within José Leonilson's production, a multiplicity of aspects and meanings are seen that also relate to Louise Bourgeois's oeuvre in regard to the interest in human relations. Through a comparative approach to both artists' poetics, an understanding is created that love is not a simplistic action and all the words read in or applied to their visual discourse must be considered within a wide range of love in visual and literary (...)images. Keywords: literature and visual arts / love / creativity / Bourgeois, Louise / Leonilson, José / word and image. (shrink)
In this paper I tackle the question of what basic form an analytical method for articulating and ultimately assessing visual representations should take. I start from the assumption that scientific images, being less prone to interpretive complication than artworks, are ideal objects from which to engage this question. I then assess a recent application of Nelson Goodman's aesthetics to the project of parsing scientific images, Laura Perini's ‘The truth in pictures’. I argue that, although her project is an (...) important one, her Goodmanian conventionalism produces a method of analysis that is incapable of adequately parsing a certain class of pictures and her focus on truth is unnecessary. This speaks against the promise of Goodman's analytical strategy for elucidating visual content and reasoning in the sciences and elsewhere. As an alternative, I develop John Willats’ analytical method and compare it to Perini's through engaging three of her examples—a chemical diagram, a graph and an electron micrograph. Ultimately, a space remains open for a mixed system where Willats’ account provides pictorial analysis and the Goodman–Perini approach parses visual languages. (shrink)
The purpose of this text is to analyze the social representations of feminism in divinatory practices. Our research in a few Moldavian counties has identified two main types of social representations of the relationship between magic/divination and feminism. Therefore, there are some dual representations of the feminine divinatory agents versus the masculine ones. Even though women are well represented among clairvoyants, clients, and spectators, these valorizations function as negative stereotypes and do not serve the women. Another representation of feminism in (...) divinatory practices that does not necessarily imply negativism and damnation is a more recent one. Old stereotypes are tamed and attenuated. The results of our research have shown that women continue to be associated with the survival of these practices. This is proof that old myths and representations are still alive. They are discretely present in social expressions. Finally, they will dominate us completely. (shrink)
Los estudios recientes sobre Hobbes han puesto una gran atención en el uso de las imágenes. Permanece, sin embargo, una objeción seria y factible: se podría argumentar que Hobbes no relaciona su producción de imágenes, ni a su política, ni a su teoría de la percepción y que, por tanto, no tenemos razón para creer que sus imágenes son una aplicación de esta doctrina. El propósito de este trabajo es mostrar que Hobbes de hecho sí vincula — de un modo (...) implícito — la construcción de imágenes y su teoría psicológica al orden político. Primero, el artículo reconstruye la teoría hobbesiana de la percepción y sus implicaciones. Segundo, se muestra que el Leviathan establece encubiertamente el vínculo entre la teoría de las imágenes y las imágenes políticas, incluyendo, por consiguiente, las creadas por el propio Hobbes. Tercero, se muestra que el Leviatán de Hobbes rara vez descubre su rol como dispositivo para ver, para hacer que el lector vea imágenes que él considera necesarias. Finalmente, se discuten las consecuencias de este descubrimiento para nuestra comprensión de Hobbes y de la visualidad y las imágenes en el pensamiento político. (shrink)
Problems concerning scientists’ uses of representations have received quite a bit of attention recently. The focus has been on how such representations get their contents and on just what those contents are. Less attention has been paid to what makes certain kinds of scientific representations different from one another and thus well suited to this or that epistemic end. This article considers the latter question with particular focus on the distinction between images and graphs on the one hand and (...) descriptions and related representations on the other. *Received January 2008; revised September 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Three experiments investigated the hypothesis that internally generated images and thoughts were driven by meaning complexes, a construct which reflects a synthesis of semantic meaning and personal salience . Experiments 1 and 2 contrasted the mutual inhibition between encoding words and non-words on: the frequency that thoughts and images unrelated to the task were experienced and on the intensity of images generated from long-term memory and maintained under dual task conditions, which whilst familiar were not of particular (...) personal salience . Experiment 3 examined the physiological arousal associated with the experience of TUT in a semantic encoding task. Evidence suggested that, in general, internally generated images and thoughts, irrespective of the personal salience, were suppressed by the co-ordination of information in working memory. In addition, only the experience of spontaneous images and thoughts of personal salience interfered reliably with the encoding/retrieval of semantic information from memory. Finally, in Experiment 3, physiological arousal, as indexed by mean heart rate, was associated with a high frequency of TUT. The results of all three experiments support the notion that the maintenance of spontaneously occurring images and thoughts is simultaneously influenced by both the semantic content and the personal salience of the information held in working memory. (shrink)
Considering everything from Nike ads, emaciated models, and surgically altered breasts to the culture wars and the O.J. Simpson trial, Susan Bordo deciphers the hidden life of cultural images and the impact they have on our lives. She builds on the provocative themes introduced in her acclaimed work _Unbearable Weight_—which explores the social and political underpinnings of women's obsession with bodily image—to offer a singularly readable and perceptive interpretation of our image-saturated culture. As it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish (...) between appearance and reality, she argues, we need to rehabilitate the notion that not all versions of reality are equally trustworthy. Bordo writes with deep compassion, unnerving honesty, and bracing intelligence. Looking to the body and bodily practices as a concrete arena where cultural fantasies and anxieties are played out, she examines the mystique and the reality of empowerment through cosmetic surgery. Her brilliant discussion of sexual harassment reflects on the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill controversy as well as the film _Disclosure_. She suggests that sexuality, although one of the mediums of harassment, is not its essence, and she calls for the recasting of harassers as bullies rather than sex fiends. Bordo also challenges the continuing marginalization of feminist thought, in particular the failure to read feminist work as cultural criticism. Finally, in a powerful and moving essay called "Missing Kitchens"—written in collaboration with her two sisters—Bordo explores notions of bodies, place, and space through a recreation of the topographies of her childhood. Throughout these essays, Bordo avoids dogma and easy caricature. Consistently, and on many levels, she demonstrates the profound relationship between our lives and our theories, our feelings and our thoughts. (shrink)
In this paper, I defend the view that there are many scientific images that have a serious epistemic role in science but this role is not adequately accounted for by the going view of representation and its attendant theoretical commitments. The relevant view of representation is Laura Perini’s account of representation for scientific images. I draw on Adina Roskies’ work on scientific images as well as work on models in science to support my conclusion.
This paper explores whether brain images may be admitted as evidence in criminal trials under Federal Rule of Evidence 403, which weighs probative value against the danger of being prejudicial, confusing, or misleading to fact finders. The paper summarizes and evaluates recent empirical research relevant to these issues. We argue that currently the probative value of neuroimages for criminal responsibility is minimal, and there is some evidence of their potential to be prejudicial or misleading. We also propose experiments that (...) will directly assess how jurors are influenced by brain images. (shrink)
Disoriented animals from ants to humans reorient in accord with the shape of the surrounding surface layout: a behavioral pattern long taken as evidence for sensitivity to layout geometry. Recent computational models suggest, however, that the reorientation process may not depend on geometrical analyses but instead on the matching of brightness contours in 2D images of the environment. Here we test this suggestion by investigating young children's reorientation in enclosed environments. Children reoriented by extremely subtle geometric properties of the (...) 3D layout: bumps and ridges that protruded only slightly off the floor, producing edges with low contrast. Moreover, children failed to reorient by prominent brightness contours in continuous layouts with no distinctive 3D structure. The findings provide evidence that geometric layout representations support children's reorientation. (shrink)
This brief editorial considers a special issue of Argumentation edited by Jens Kjeldsen on visual, multimodal argumentation. It provides a commentary on important advances on interpretative problems such as the propositionality of argument, the reducibility of images to words, whether argument products are primarily cognitive artifacts, and the nature of a modality of argument. Concerning the project of argument appraisal, it considers whether visual arguments call for a revision of our normative, evaluative apparatus.
Abstract In this essay, I will argue that images can play a substantial role in argumentation: exploiting information from the context, they can contribute directly and substantially to the communication of the propositions that play the roles of premises and conclusion. Furthermore, they can achieve this directly, i.e. without the need of verbalization. I will ground this claim by presenting and analyzing some arguments where images are essential to the argumentation process. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-14 DOI (...) 10.1007/s10503-011-9259-y Authors Axel Arturo Barceló Aspeitia, Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cto. Mario de la Cueva s/n, Cd. Universitaria, Coyoacán, 04500 DF, Mexico Journal Argumentation Online ISSN 1572-8374 Print ISSN 0920-427X. (shrink)
Barbara Stafford is at the forefront of a growing movement that calls for the humanities to confront the brain’s material realities. In Echo Objects she argues that humanists should seize upon the exciting neuroscientific discoveries that are illuminating the underpinnings of cultural objects. In turn, she contends, brain scientists could enrich their investigations of mental activity by incorporating phenomenological considerations—particularly the intricate ways that images focus intentional behavior and allow us to feel thought. This, then, is a book for (...) both sides of the aisle, a stunningly broad exploration of how complex images—or patterns that compress space and time—make visible the invisible ordering of human consciousness. Stafford demonstrates, for example, how the compound formats of emblems, symbols, collage, and electronic media reveal the brain’s grappling to construct mental objects that are redoubled by prior associations. On the other hand, she compellingly shows that findings in evolutionary biology and the neurosciences are providing profound opportunities for understanding aesthetic conundrums as old and deep-seated as the human urge to imitate, the mapping of inner space, and the role of narrative and nonnarrative representation. As precise in her discussions of firing neurons as she is about the coordinating dynamics of image making, Stafford locates these major transdisciplinary issues at the intersection of art, science, philosophy, and technology. Ultimately, she makes an impassioned plea for a common purpose—for the acknowledgement that, at the most basic level, these separate projects belong to a single investigation. (shrink)
Sellars claims completeness for both the “manifest” and the “scientific images” in a way that tempts one to assume that they are independent of each other, while, in fact, they must share at least one common element: the language of individual and community intentions. I argue that this significantly muddies the waters concerning his claim of ontological primacy for the scientific image, though not in favor of the ontological primacy of the manifest image. The lesson I draw is that (...) we need to reassess the aims of ontology. (shrink)
If successive, brief visual images are exposed for recognition or for psychophysical ratings, various effects and phenomena of fast dynamics of conscious perception such as mutual masking, metacontrast, proactive enhancement of contrast, proactive speed-up of the latency of subjective visual experience, the Fröhlich Effect, the Tandem Effect, attentional facilitation by visuospatial precuing, and some others have been found. The theory proposed to deal with these phenomena proceeds from the assumption that two types of brain processes are necessary in order (...) to consciously recognize visual stimuli: fast, specific processes of encoding that allocate and reactivate the stimulus representation which is based on the activity of selected cortical neurons and relatively slower processes of facilitation of the activity of this specific representation that are mediated by the excitatory modulation of the EPSPs of those selected cortical neurons by the ascending input from nonspecific thalamus. Theperceptual retouchconstruct is proposed in order to characterize and analyze the interaction of and . The neurophysiological characteristics of this bifunctional system of afference help to put forward several predictions that are found to be consistent with the empirical regularities of the above-described perceptual-attentional phenomena. These data form a body of converging evidence that is consistent with the predictions of the perceptual retouch approach. (shrink)
Binding can be described at three different levels: In neuroscience it refers to the integration of single-cell activities to form functional neural assemblies, especially in response to global stimulus properties; in cognitive science it refers to the integration of distributed modular input processing to form unified representations for memory and action, and in consciousness studies it refers to the unity of phenomenal consciousness . To describe and explain the unity of consciousness, detailed phenomenological descriptions of binding at the phenomenal level (...) and clarification of the underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms are required. The disunity of consciousness during dreaming is a fruitful avenue to study phenomenal binding and its mechanisms. The notion of the 'bizarreness' of dreams is closely related to the concept of 'binding': bizarreness can be reconceptualized as referring to different types of unusual combinations of features in the binding of dream images coherently together. The present study concentrates on the representation of human characters and the bizarreness found in these representations. We developed a rating scale that distinguishes different types of bizarreness on the basis of the unusual combinations of elements that are manifested in dream images. The data consisted of 592 dream reports in the home-based dream diaries of 52 students. The results indicate that about half of the human characters appearing in our dreams contain bizarre elements, and that certain types of bizarreness are more frequent than others. Phenomenal features intrinsic to the representation of a person are less frequently bizarre than is the external relation between the person and the context . Thus, binding the local features of a representation coherently together appears to be less prone to errors than binding several different information streams together into a coherent phenomenal model of the world. (shrink)