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ERIC Number: ED050556
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971-Jul-26
Pages: 345
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Visual Thinking.
Arnheim, Rudolf
Based on the more general principle that all thinking (including reasoning) is basically perceptual in nature, the author proposes that visual perception is not a passive recording of stimulus material but an active concern of the mind. He delineates the task of visually distinguishing changes in size, shape, and position and points out the complexity of the task accomplished each time the sense of vision establishes the size, shape, location, color, brightness, and movement of an object. The effect of the memory of past experience on perception provides a framework for his discussion of mental imagery and its relation to direct sensory observation. He postulates that mental images are a necessary precondition for "thought," and he uses line drawings to illustrate the organization of mental images into concepts. The functions of three categories of images--pictures, symbols, and signs--are explained. The author describes two antagonistic theories of abstraction and states that it is the indispensable link between perceiving and thinking. He believes that words are not indispensable to thought, but serve as labels for images, and that art is not just a form of visual thinking, but fulfills other primary functions by creating beauty, perfection, harmony, and order. In conclusion, he proposes that the means and ends of science and art are closely allied. (JY)
University of California Press, 2223 Fulton Street, Berkeley, California 94720 ($4.25)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A