The Philosophical Case Against Visual Images: a Crucial Experiment

Peter Slezak

Notwithstanding the claim by Finke et al. (1989) have "refuted" Chambers and Reisberg (1985), we have shown that image reconstrual is generally difficult or impossible to perform under conditions in which one would have expected it according to the pictorial theory. On the other hand, however, these results are precisely as one would expect on the tacit knowledge account according to which imagery is highly abstract and cognitive, and does not involve any internal, surrogate, diagrammatic 'objects’ to be apprehended by the visual system.

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