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Author Topic: Do images have some real existence?  (Read 2056 times)

Offline J Rahman

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Do images have some real existence?
« on: 16/10/2009 06:53:31 »
I had a debate with my teacher last night. Suppose you see the sun in a swimming pool. The sun you saw was an image of the original sun (the real object) above you. Do you think the image of the sun has an existence in reality? I dont think so. Let me tell you my opinion. Please justify if it is true. Also tell me the reasons if you believe that an image can be real?


According to me, images are but misconceptions of the observer. The sun seen by your eyes in the pool was due to your eye's inability to detect the reflection of light in the pool. Since it cannot understand wherefrom the light is coming (though the light tells the brain that it was coming from the object, but it does not tell anything about the object's position), hence the brain makes a wrong assumption that the object from which the light is coming, is in a place inside the pool. This guesswork of the brain results from its manifest inability to detect reflection. If it were that the observer had a mechanism to detect reflection, then its range of vision would have extended: it would have seen what was behind or above it without feeling the need of turning its head, provided that there was a mirror in front. You would say that anybody can see what is behind him if he had a mirror. Yes I agree, but he would see the objects that are behind him, in front of him (probably inside the mirror), which I say, is a misconception. But if your body was given the mechanism to detect reflection, you could have seen those objects, behind you in their original position. From this we can say that the image of the sun that you saw in the pool did not exist in reality but in your brain. There's another argument that suggests the unreal existence of images. There are, besides optical mechanism, several other mechanisms that provide vision to an organism. Bats, for example, see by their throat. I mean to say by supersonic sounds produced from their throat. If you hold a pen in front a blind bat, it can see the pen as clearly as you see it with your eyes. But that bat can never see the image of the sun you see with your eyes because the images are produced by your idiot brain, which do not exist in the real world for the bat to see. Some organisms might use heat sensor mechanisms to see objects in the absence of eyes. They would not also see the sun you see in your pool. Is it not enough to prove the unreal existence of images?
« Last Edit: 16/10/2009 06:57:42 by J Rahman »


 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Do images have some real existence?
« Reply #1 on: 16/10/2009 08:59:53 »
There are some inconsistencies in your statements which are probably due to a less than perfect use of the English language but you have grasped some fundamental truths. However I feel that you do have some fundamental misunderstandings.

ALL the images that you "see" out there are parts of a model of your brain's concept of "reality" that is created for you in your conscious mind.  The reflection of the sun in the pool is as real as the light coming directly from the sun because it is part of reality because light is reflected in that way.  It adds to the information about the scene because you can also see  past the reflection and into the pool to see objects on the bottom and shadows cast by other objects by the sun.  All these add to the information to be obtained from the scene before you.  Your brain is not "an idiot" it is performing its task in the best (and only)way possible.
« Last Edit: 16/10/2009 09:02:15 by Soul Surfer »
 

Offline LeeE

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Do images have some real existence?
« Reply #2 on: 16/10/2009 16:14:58 »
An image of an object is not the object itself and there's no fundamental difference between a direct image, a reflected image, or indeed, a projected image; all are equally 'real', or more correctly, 'unreal'.  Furthermore, apart from when we look directly at light sources, everything we see is reflected light.

This rather seems like another take on that old Zen question: 'Does a falling tree make a noise if there is no one there to hear it?, or 'If a man says something and there is no woman there to hear it, does it mean that he's still wrong?

If you are looking at the sun, whether it be direct, reflected, or just as a picture on a screen, the object itself remains about 93 million miles away and not in your head, where the image is perceived.

I think you may also be assuming that stereo vision is fundamental to images, when in fact, stereo needs two discrete images (or a hologram) to work; a single image has no depth information because it's a purely two-dimensional artifact.

I think your choice of using the bat analogy is a bit unfortunate too, as it's actually the opposite of what you intended: bats don't see with their throats but with their ears, and more importantly, they can only 'see' reflections with them.  Bats can see nothing 'directly' with their ears except background noise.  When you hold your pen in front of a bat, it will 'see' nothing until it emits a sensing pulse and receives the reflected echo from the pen.

If you really think it through, you'll realise that apart from when we look directly at light sources themselves, everything we see is reflected light.  If you go down in to a light-tight cellar that is full of items, and then turn out the light so that you can see nothing at all, does it mean that all the stuff in the cellar, and even the walls of the cellar itself, no longer exist?  When you turn the light back on, everything that you see, is just light from the light source that has been reflected from the walls, floor, ceiling and items in the cellar.

Just on a point of detail: a bat will not see the pen as clearly as we do because the wavelengths of the audio signals it uses are much longer than the wavelengths of the visible light that we use.
 

Offline J Rahman

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Do images have some real existence?
« Reply #3 on: 17/10/2009 06:59:21 »
Sorry gentlemen, I was indeed, as I see, lost in serious misconceptions. Thanks for clarifying the matter and helping me meet the truth.
There are some inconsistencies in your statements which are probably due to a less than perfect use of the English language
My English might be horrible because I'm an Indian and like most Indians I'm bad in English. Hope to learn good English from you people.
 

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Do images have some real existence?
« Reply #3 on: 17/10/2009 06:59:21 »

 

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