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Image and RealityKekule, Kopp, and the Scientific Imagination$
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Alan J. Rocke

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226723327

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226723358.001.0001

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The Scientific Image-ination

The Scientific Image-ination

(p.324) Eleven The Scientific Image-ination
Image and Reality
University of Chicago Press

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

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