The Imagery Debate
Michael Tye untangles the complex web of empirical and conceptual issues of the newly revived imagery debate in psychology between those that liken mental images to pictures and those that liken them to linguistic descriptions. He also takes into account longstanding philosophical issues, to arrive at a comprehensive, up-to-date view and an original theory that provides answers to questions raised in both psychology and philosophy. Drawing on the insights of Stephen Kosslyn and the work on vision of David Mart, Tye develops a new theory of mental imagery that includes an account of imagistic representation and also tackles questions about the phenomenal qualities of mental images, image indeterminacy, the neurophysiolgical basis of imagery, and the causal relevance of image content to behavior. Tye introduces the history of philosophical views on the nature of mental imagery from Aristotle to Kant. He examines the reasons for the decline of picture theories of imagery and the use of alternative theories, the reemergence of the picture theory (with special reference to the work of Stephen Kosslyn), and the contrasting view that mental images are inner linguistic descriptions rather than pictorial representations. He then proposes his own theory of images interpreted as symbol-filled arrays in part like pictures and in part like linguistic descriptions, addresses the issue of vagueness in some features of mental images, and argues that images need not have qualia to account for their phenomenological character. Tye concludes by discussing the questions of how images are physically realized in the brain and how the contents of images can be causally related to behavior.
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active adjacent answer argument asked behavior Berkeley brain causal chapter chiliagon claim cognitive cognitive psychology color concept coordinates cortex cross figure descriptionalism descriptionalist digital computer distance dots earlier epiphenomenal evidence example filled cells functional picture G. E. Moore given green Hence Hinton hypothesis ideas image indeterminacy image rotation imagery medium imagine imagistic imagistic representation interpretation intrinsic introspection Jerry Fodor Kosslyn Kosslyn's view locations long-term memory Marr Marr's Mental Imagery mental images mind Ned Block pattern phenomenal philosophers physical pictorial pictorialist picture theory picture-like Pinker position present properties proposal psychology Pylyshyn quasi-pictures question relative relevant repre represent objects representational content representationally response role scanning screen seems shape Shoemaker sketch spatial Stephen Kosslyn stored stripes structural descriptions subjects were shown Suppose surface Sydney Shoemaker tion units view that mental viewer-centered virtue vision visual buffer visual experience visual percepts visual qualia Zenon Pylyshyn