On Images

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On Images

Concrete images are like pictures in the mind's imagination which have been transferred from real objects through the eyes. Abstract images also exist in the imagination, but are not easily described or communicated. Both images interplay in various ways as a person experiences emotional, dream and pure thought states of consciousness. Despite the interplay, the two kinds of images do not merge or meld into a third image type as a graduation between the two. Concrete images change, sometimes drastically. They never become abstract images, however deformed they are. Abstractions are somewhat assumed and exist as spontaneous and at times irrational images in the mind's eye. Light, reason, infinity and nothing are examples of abstract images which cannot be given accurate visual representation. Images take on different meanings with regard to language, death, prayer and society or politics; but the two types remain distinct. All human beings experience both concrete and abstract imagery. However, the level of ability to think abstractly varies from person to person.

For Aristotle, the most important and most enjoyable of the senses is the sense of sight. (1) The human eye receives an image with the use of light. Vision of the physical world outside ourselves occurs as light reflects off objects, passes through the eyes, and presents an image to the mind. It is believed that these images are not unique to any single person because they are communicated and described back and forth, thus weakening the solipsist's struggle. In this paper, abstract and concrete images will be defined by way of discussion of the imagination and the mind. Apparently the mind functions in such a way that many images happen without any mechanistic equation to tell us how. The imagination is familiar and so are the images, but it is the wonder and challenge of how they interact that deepens our understanding. It is contended here that the line between the two types of images is stark and obvious, and not a graduation. Images are either concrete or abstract, without any in between.

By concrete image we understand a sort of picture present when we are seeing something or as we close our eyes and remember it. The image seems to be present as a form outside ourselves in the object and in our mind simultaneously. It is an image which has color and real properties like shape and texture.

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