The Treachery of Images: Why Images Do not Exist and There Are Only Flat Objects
Do images exist? In this paper I argue that the notion of an image is ontologically empty – i.e., images are no more than a cultural invention akin to epicycles in astronomy. There are only flat objects engaged in various causal roles. In this paper I will defend the thesis that in visual culture, in the neurosciences, and in philosophy of mind, there is no convincing evidence in favor of their existence. Moreover, I will outline a series of arguments aiming at showing that images do not exist. I will discuss briefly discuss why many authors – from the iconic turn to the neurosciences – use the notion of image as though it were something real. I will conclude suggesting to drop the subject-object divide and to consider a completely flat ontology made only of (relative) objects.
Keywords: Body • Pictures • Philosophy of Mind • Images • Mind-Object Identity