The Imagery Debate

The Imagery Debate

Hardback (16 Dec 1991)

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Publisher's Synopsis

Michael Tye untangles the web of empirical and conceptual issues of the imagery debate in psychology between those who liken mental images to pictures and those who liken them to linguistic descriptions. He also takes into account longstanding philosophical issues, to arrive at 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 Marr, Tye develops a 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 neurophysiological basis of imagery, and the causal relevance of image content to behaviour.;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 re-emergence 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-fitted 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 behaviour.

Book information

ISBN: 9780262200868
Publisher: MIT Press
Imprint: The MIT Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 153.32
DEWEY edition: 20
Number of pages: 188
Weight: 272g
Height: 229mm
Width: 152mm
Spine width: 12mm