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Words and Images: An Essay on the Origin of Ideas

Gauker, Christopher

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ISBN 10: 0199599467 / ISBN 13: 9780199599462
Editore: Oxford University Press
Usato Condizione: Used - Like New Rilegato
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2011. Hardcover. Cloth. 8vo. 302 pp. Fine. Dust Jacket is Fine. Codice inventario libreria C42127

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Titolo: Words and Images: An Essay on the Origin of ...

Casa editrice: Oxford University Press

Legatura: Hardcover

Condizione libro: Used - Like New

Condizione sovraccoperta: Dust Jacket Included

Descrizione articolo


At least since Locke, philosophers and psychologists have usually held that concepts arise out of sensory perceptions, thoughts are built from concepts, and language enables speakers to convey their thoughts to hearers. Christopher Gauker holds that this tradition is mistaken about both concepts and language. The mind cannot abstract the building blocks of thoughts from perceptual representations. More generally, we have no account of the origin of concepts that grants them the requisite independence from language. Gauker's alternative is to show that much of cognition consists in thinking by means of mental imagery, without the help of concepts, and that language is a tool by which interlocutors coordinate their actions in pursuit of shared goals. Imagistic cognition supports the acquisition and use of this tool, and when the use of this tool is internalized, it becomes the very medium of conceptual thought.


Gauker has written a rich and thought-provoking book deserving of careful study. I fully agree with him that philosophers of mind have tended to underestimate or even to overlook the powers of nonconceptual, imagistic cognition. The investigation of imaginative and perception-based forms of reasoning contained in Words and Images is a valuable step in the right direction. (Robert Briscoe, Mind)

Christopher Gauker's new book is a rich and innovative study of the nature of conceptual thought, its relation to language, the relation between concepts and perception, and the place of imagistic thinking in cognition ... There is much to like in Words and Images. It is ambitious and deals with a fundamental question in the philosophy of mind ... It is full of bold, iconoclastic views ... detailed arguments for these views and against competing ones, and careful discussion of possible objections. It moves swiftly between philosophical arguments and psychological hypotheses and results, which is very fitting for the topic. (Edouard Machery, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews)

[Gauker's] new book offers a mind-boggling effort to overthrow many philosophical orthodoxies and received wisdoms. ... [it] is also noteworthy for the broad scope of problems covered ... It is a book definitely worth reading (Jaroslav Peregrin, Organon)

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