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The Treachery of Images: Why Images Do not Exist and There Are Only Flat Objects

Riccardo Manzotti    Università IULM, Italia    

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abstract

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.

Published
June 30, 2021
Submitted
March 16, 2021
Language
EN