Something that is nothing but can be anything: the image and our consciousness of it

John Brough

in The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Phenomenology

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199594900
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Something that is nothing but can be anything: the image and our consciousness of it

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  • Philosophy
  • Epistemology
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This chapter concentrates on the nature of the image as it presents itself in experience, with its remarkable capacity to represent within itself people, events, emotions, and many other things, and with its place in art. The Husserlian perspective has many affinities with more recent investigations of images. The physical dimension of image plays an important role in imaging and has been largely neglected by philosophers, though not by artists. The uniqueness of image consciousness rests in its ability to see something in something else. Then, the chapter assesses the differences between image consciousness and symbolic or signitive consciousness. The resemblance in image consciousness must precisely not be perfect; it must be paired with and permeated by difference and even conflict. Images improve experience by folding into themselves the world.

Keywords: image consciousness; art; emotions; imaging; signitive consciousness

Article.  10282 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Epistemology ; Philosophy of Mind

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