Glasgow, Narayanan and Chandrasekaran 1995 "There has been a tradition in psychology and philosophy that dismisses mental images as epiphenomenal, 1.e. that they do not causally participate in reasoning or problem solving."



Rudyard Kipling, Something of Myself Penguin 1988 (first published 1936)

"My office work had taught me to think out a notion in detail, pack it away in my head, and work on it by snatches in any surroundings. The lurch and surge of the old horse-drawn buses made a luxurious cradle for such ruminations. Bit by bit, my original notion grew into a vast, vague conspectus - Army and Navy Stores list if you like - of the whole sweep and meaning of things and effort and origins throughout the Empire. I visualised it as I do most ideas, in the shape of a semi-circle of buildings and temples projecting out into a sea - of dreams ."



"28. I find I can excite ideas in my mind at pleasure , and vary and shift the scene as oft as I think fit. It is no more than willing, and straightway this or that idea arises in my fancy; and by the same power it is obliterated and makes way for another. This making and unmaking of ideas doth very properly denominate the mind active. This much is certain and grounded on experience : but when we talk of unthinking agents, or exciting ideas exclusive of Volition, we only amuse ourselves with words.

29. But, whatever power I may have over my own thoughts, I find the ideas actually perceived by Sense have not a like dependence on my will. When in broad sunlight I open my eyes it is not in my power to choose whether I shall see or no, or determine what particular objects shall present themselves to my view: and so likewise to the hearing and other senses, the ideas imprinted on them are not creatures of my will. There is therefore some other Will or Spirit that produces them.

30. The ideas of Sense are more strong, lively, and distinct than those of the Imagination; they have likewise a steadiness, order, and coherence, and are not excited at random, as those which the effects of human wills often are, but in a regular train or series - the admirable connection whereof sufficiently testifies the Wisdom and benevolence of its Author. Now the set rules or established methods wherein the Mind we depend on excites in us the ideas of Sense, are called the laws of nature; and these we learn by experience, which teaches us that such and such ideas are attended with such and such other ideas, in the ordinary course of things." Bishop George Berkeley, 1710


"The first thing he said the most fundamental doctrine propounded in the Tractatus, is that propositions are pictures. That is not put forward as a metaphorical description, a way of saying somewhat more graphically that propositions represent the world. He took the claim that propositions were pictures very, very seriously. He kept insisting that they were literally pictures. And this leads to a second doctrine that pictures have elements that correspond to the scene they picture. Propositions are essentially composite things, as is shown in sentences which are made of different words : the proposition is made of words functioning as names, and the names correspond directly to the objects which enter into the fact - the names are arranged in the sentence as the objects are arranged in the fact. Attached to this is the view that the world, if it is to be capable of being represented in language must be an arrangement or an array of objects which have various possibilities of being combined with one another. What actually is the case is the way those objects are arranged. That has the consequence that the essential meaningful content of discourse - of language that is put to the really crucial use of which language can be put - is its picturing the facts that constitute the world.... Wittgenstein never gives any examples of these fundamental pictorial propositions - perhaps none of the propositions we utter in everyday life would be examples. But his requirement that if language is to be meaningful it must have a definite sense , and that this definite sense consists in its performing an essentially pictorial task, this for him necessitates that every genuine proposition , even if it is not a single picture, must, if it is to be meaningful, be a vast complex, a conjunction, of pictures." Of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus, published in Austria in 1921 and the UK in 1922. Anthony Quinton, in Brian Magee's Men of Ideas OUP Oxford 1978 speaks of LW.


"In contemporary research on human cognition, topics such as retrieving memories, generating images, and solving problems have typically been explored in what are essentially non-creative contexts. Being creative is one of the most important things that a person can do, yet there is little one can actually learn, about creativity from reading the current cognitive literature. Indeed, if a person were to ask "What can I do to act more creatively ?" few answers could be found in most of the cognitive studies that have been conducted up to now." from Finke Ward Smith, Creative Cognition, MIT Press Cambridge 1996 [1992] p.4

eyes shut

" I have only to shut my eyes to feel how ignorant I am whence these forms and coloured forms, and colours distinguishable beyond what I can distinguish, derive their birth. These varying and infinite co-present colours, what are they ? I ask to what do they belong in my waking remembrance ? and almost always never receive an answer. Only I perceive and know thatwhatever I change, in any part of me, produces some change in these eye-spectra; as, for,instance, if I press my legs or change sides."

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, December 19th, 1803, from Anime Poeta.




"The psychological study of imaging has had a curious history over the past half century. Following the pioneer work of Sir Francis Galton, there was lively interest in the topic. Then starting in about the twenties, progressively less attention was paid to imaging, until today [1957] it is a process more discussed by novelists and literary men than by psychologists... Psychologists have stoopped making substantial contributions to the study of imaging for the simple reason that, in the absence of objective methods for its observation, there are few if any new contributions to be made."

Ian M.L.Hunter, MEMORY Facts and Fallacies, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1961 [1957]