Von der Fähigkeit, einen Stuhl zu ignorieren. A. N. Whiteheads Konzept der Wahrnehmung als symbolisierender Tätigkeit und die Art, wie wir Bilder als Bilder sehen

Autor: Viola Nordsieck
[erschienen in: IMAGE 28 Themenheft (Juli 2018)]

In the thought of process philosopher A. N. Whitehead, sense perception cannot be understood as a passive reception of sense data, or even a spontaneous receptive action of the mind. It is symbolic activity, which we can understand as a combination of active and passive elements, embedded within a continuous form. Perception as a symbolic activity changes and shapes things in the process. It may be thought of as belonging to the faculties of judgement in a Kantian sense: the faculty of distinguishing by principles that are being developed in progress. This means that our ability of perceiving images as images and reflecting on their context, their modes of appearance and the way they are mediated, must be thought of as a cultivated practice. Questions of iconicity and the semiotics of images, for example the question of the image's relation to our perception and our attention, can be asked in new ways.