Piotr Kozak – Thinking with Images

The next meeting of the seminar Philosophy of Cognitive Science is planned for May, 12th, at 10:30 (AM Warsaw, CET). Our guest will be Piotr Kozak(IPS PAS). We will discuss a draft of the Introduction and Chapter 1 from his forthcoming book: Thinking with Images: Imagistic Cognition and Non-propositional Content. For the more interested we also attach Chapter 6.

From Introduction:
 The main research question of this book is: What is thinking with images? The question is analogical in its form to such questions as ‘what is thinking with language?’ It means that if we can ask whether we can think in or with language, then we can ask whether we can think in or with images.

The question follows from a commonsensical observation: when someone is asked how many windows are in his or her flat, he or she will probably form and inspect a mental image of the flat and count the windows. If an architect designs a house, then he or she designs the house with the help of drawings. If one tries to get from point to point B, one may use a map.

The examples above are instantiations of what can be called ‘thinking with images’. However, listing examples of imagistic thinking is a relatively easy task. The difficult task is to say exactly what thinking with images is.

Imagistic thinking is understood here in three ways: as a faculty, an act, and a mental state or an event. The faculty of imagistic thinking refers to the capacity of using images in thinking. The act of imagistic thinking is exercising this faculty. The mental state called ‘imagistic thought’ is a product of such an act.

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Source: Cognitive Science in Search of Unity