chapter  1
17 Pages

The Cognitive Function of the Image

ByPaul Crowther

This chapter provides a phenomenology of the imagination that emphasizes the image’s psychologically generated and selective character. It argues that this enables a kind of blending between the object imagined and the subjective style in which it is imagined. The chapter explores this inhabiting in relation to memory and the projective imagination of possibility per se. It explains how making pictures takes imaginative inhabiting to a level of completion, and gives the visual imagination autonomy. Imagination has a profound existential significance in the unifying of self-consciousness. The creation of art both continues this and brings it to completion. There may be some ideas or images in the artist’s mind in advance of, or during the process of, creation, but there does not have to be. What is decisive is that in drawing or painting pictures the imagination is exercised through the handling of physical materials.