The Scientific Image-ination

in Image and Reality

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780226723327
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226723358 | DOI:
The Scientific Image-ination

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The philosopher of mind Colin McGinn has argued for the importance of what is known as the image-ination, or the ability to form and manipulate mental images having no direct correlation with visual perception itself. He concludes that images and percepts are two coequal species of visual apprehension, and also suggests that the creative imagination (an image-generating mental power) is even constitutive for understanding and generating language. The subject of visual thinking in physics has been examined in detail by Arthur I. Miller, whose work on imagery and the visual imagination deals with the work of twentieth-century physicists, but also has implications for research on chemistry in the nineteenth century. Miller's evidence for the importance of visual mental imagery in scientific thought was largely taken from a close study of Albert Einstein, who acknowledged many times that his thinking took place mainly in the form of visual imagery.

Keywords: Colin McGinn; image-ination; mental images; creative imagination; Arthur I. Miller; chemistry; Albert Einstein; visual imagery

Chapter.  6740 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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