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Classification of Images

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A human being's mental activity is dominated by Pictures, Images, and Symbols sourced in ones inner world and/or outer world. The philosophical and/or psychological essences for knowing what each of these six is about is determined by extracting the "What it is" (Symbol) and "What it does" (Image) of each. The "How it is" points to the fundamental (anchor) in a given meaning. By contrast, "How it appears" (Image) imparts Emotional or Feeling impressions, whether good or bad. An outer world Picture--a pattern of pigment on a background (e.g. paper, a piece of canvas) for some purpose (e.g. to recall a friend's face)--provides information. It differs from an Inner Image or an Inner Visual Symbol in being capable of detailed study so as to gain more message clues about what the Picture contains. Yet, a "Mental Picture" is roughly the same as an Inner Image or Inner Visual Symbol. Inner or Outer World Images are like Visual Symbols which symbolize by resemblance to the referent (the thing represented). Outer Images are mental reconstructions of incoming sense experiences; Inner Images derive from ones memory of perceived experiences--whether realistic, distorted, and/or fantasy. Icon Images and Icon Symbols serve as a standard, guide, and filter for aspects of daily living. The formation of Images can be by good/bad coming from oneself and/or from others. There are as many types of Images as there are types of sensations, with visual and the auditory being most common. Different fields of study define and use Images differently.

Class I is the Sphere of Influence from which Images are drawn--e.g. religion, agriculture, science, and domestic. They evoke a complex of emotional suggestions while communicating Mood, Tone, and Meaning--both figurative and literal. In European Christian Theology, "Image" implies a sculptured or painted representative of Christ, Mary, or the Saints. In various Philosophical Schools of Thought, the term Image is used in different senses. It generally implies the representation of a thing or an idea by another thing or idea substituted for the original and possessing the same attributes as does the original. In Rhetoric, "Image" denotes a metaphor expanded and made into a more complete picture by the assemblage of various ideas through which the same metaphor continues to run, yet not sufficiently expanded to form an Allegory (a story within a story). In Psychology, "Image" is applied to the consequence of a previously elementary sensual sensation, not stimulated by any external impression. It is the power to reproduce a mental picture of a previous experience of any of the senses without conscious external stimulation. Class II is "What Images Do" regarding the sense to which they appeal--qualities that are auditory (hear), tactile (touch), thermal (heat and cold), olfactory (smell), gustatory (taste), kinesthetic (sensations of movement) + the sense of sight. Class III is Images' Source of Origin. Since Images are conscious memories which reproduce a previous perception, in whole or in part, in the absence of the original stimulus to the perception, they are of the following Origin types. Inner Images are products of ones Imagination which may be about what is real, distorted, or fantasy. Outer Images come from what was originally perceived and retained in ones memory. Outer/Inner Images are mental pictures made out of spoken or written words. Class IV: How it is--stereotyped Inner Images among people can be unique for an individual. For example, the word "home" may be stereotypically imaged in similar ways by thousands of people but still each one suffuses intimate personal details which customize ones own home.

Class V: An example of a "How it Appears" is the "Tied" Image--one having developed a definite meaning for almost everybody in a given culture--e.g. "ocean" suggests "eternity" in most cultures. Class VI is the nature of Images. A "Free Image" (e.g. happy) has a meaning or value (material) or worth (metaphysical) that can vary widely for different people. A "Literal Image" involves no necessary change in the meanings of words--one giving a direct sensory representation. A "Figurative Image" involves change, or a "turn" in the basic meaning of words. Although "Figurative Image" remains imbedded in the concrete, it also translates the particular to a different level of meaning. Class VII: Every human being's Spiritual birth gift of Selfhood Greatness is part of who they are and is represented by a 'ballpark' Symbol without an Image--i.e. an "Imageless Symbol."


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