Consciousness and the World

By Brian O'Shaughnessy | Go to book overview

13 Imagination and Perception

The foregoing discussion of Imagining and the Imagination was undertaken in order to enable me to arrive at a precise analytical characterization of perceptual imagining. And that was carried out in order to help differentially distinguish perceptual imagining from perception. The ultimate goal is an enhanced analytical characterization of the phenomenon of perception.


1 The Special Character of Perceptual Imagining

It emerged that direct-object or perceptual imagining has a somewhat special character. I begin this chapter with a brief résumé of its properties. The special properties of direct-object or perceptual imagining proved to be as follows. Since all direct-object perceptual imaginings, I-of-x, are intrinsically essentially imaginings, and since imaginings necessarily never are their prototype, imaginings-of are nothing but imaginings. This has interesting consequences. It implies that the very type under which I-of acquires identity is not 'I', but 'φI' (where φ is the phenomenal type exemplified by the prototype x). Thus, imagining seeing an object O is a visual imagining that is intentionally directed to O, and is not an imagining that is intentionally directed to the seeing of O (by contrast with a blind man's desire to see O). As noted earlier, while we can perfectly well characterize direct-object imagining as (say) I[φ(O)], it is more perspicuously to be expressed as (φI)(O). The latter formula is structurally perspicuous, as the former is structurally misleading.

This confers an unusual character upon direct-object imagining. It carries the implication that φI-of-O cannot be a bona fide first-order psychological phenomenon, not just in being essentially linked to φ and so dependent on another phenomenon, but in that the type 'I' cannot confer identity, whereas 'φI' (which utilizes the concept of the first-order φ) does precisely that. Such a measure of dependence of one psychological phenomenon upon another is without precedent in the mind. For example, we discover no comparable dependence even in those few psychological phenomena, such as the act-intention, which are essentially linked to other psychological types. What is unique in the present case is, that the very type under which identity is acquired derives from another mental type. Accordingly, 'actintention'

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Consciousness and the World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Consciousness and the World iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I Consciousness 35
  • 1: The Experience 37
  • 2: The Anatomy of Consciousness 68
  • 3: Self-Consciousness and Self-Knowledge 102
  • 4: 'Translucence' 164
  • 5: Consciousness and the Mental Will 200
  • 6: Interiority and Thinking 233
  • Part II the Attention and Perception 265
  • 7: The Attention 275
  • 8: The Attention and Perception (1) 291
  • 9: The Attention and Perception (2) 302
  • 10: Perception and Truth 318
  • 11: The Imagination (1) 339
  • 12: The Imagination (2) 362
  • 13: Imagination and Perception 371
  • 14: Active Attending or a Theory of Mental Action 379
  • Part III Seeing 407
  • 15: 'Blindsight' and the Essence of Seeing 415
  • 16: Seeing the Light 439
  • 17: Sense-Data (1) or the Ways of the Attention 465
  • 18: Sense-Data (2) 502
  • 19: Secondary Qualities 515
  • 20: The 'Perceptual Given' and 'Perceptual Mediators' or the Formation of the Visual Experience 538
  • 21: Appearances 570
  • 22: Perceptually Constituting the Material Object 592
  • Part IV Perception and the Body 621
  • 23: Proprioception and the Body Image 628
  • 24: The Sense of Touch 656
  • Conclusion 681
  • Index 697
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