Philosophy and Art

Food for thought or for illustration.

Do you think that a picture can be thought?
Do you think that a thought can be illustrated?


Alf wrote,

I think that you have probably heard the expression: A picture is worth a thousand words.

It is quite obvious that a picture can come from thought or as you worded it - can be thought. An artist views something and at some point his imagination and thinking brings it to fruition as some art form.

But here is definitely a picture, though it is actually a sculpture, which portrays thought or is thought. One does not need to know what he is thinking but there is thought there.


I happen to love Scott Mutter’s work. Yes, it is surrealism or surrational.

My favorite for some reason.

A lyric I wrote isn’t meant to define this image but to speak to it and at the same time to introduce a truism of human nature:

I’m a pilgrim on the edge,
on the edge of my perception
We are travelers at the edge,
we are always at the edge of our perceptions.
–Scott Mutter, Surrational Image

…This translocation of imagery emphasizes the extreme degree to which we are operating in a geometric, linear, rectangular pattern of existence in the systems and environment we’ve built around us. What else is there or could there be?"

–Scott Mutter, Surrational Images

These pictures can be said to BE thought as they were derived from thought.

See above.


cigarette smoking can cause death.jpg



They do it in advertising all of the time.

All you need is to be able to understand a word or phrase by personal experience and it comes into existence.

All your examples don’t and can’t show what I’ve meant. I’ve meant whether a thought can be illustrated in the way that all humans would do it each time in the same way (your example “thought”, for example, does not show this, because it can be interpreted in many, many other ways and from time to time very differently) and whether a picture can be thought by all humans each time in the same way (for example: a planet as a picture and Saturn as the thought always in the same way by all humans, but that is not the case either). What I mean is that we have the subject/object problem here again.

What do you, for example, think when you see my avatar?
[tab][/tab]How would you, for example, illustrate this thought?

If I may answer:

I think of Alf and would illustrate that thought as follows:[list][list][list][list] [list][list][list][list][/list:u][/list:u][/list:u][/list:u][/list:u][/list:u][/list:u][/list:u] :slight_smile:

But that’s not what everyone thinks and would illustrate.

I, for example, think of my birth place when I see my avatar and my illustration of this thought would be the birth house, and that is not illustrated in my avatar.

My avatar shows pretty clearly the church and pretty dimly a few houses of the village where I was born, but not my birth house.


Of course, I may be wrong here but when I see your avatar, aside from what you revealed of it, I think of someone who likes or loves his solitude, likes to enmesh himself in mystery, likes deeper shades and shadows rather then bright sunlight, enjoys a place much less traveled by people, likes to reflect on his life, someone who likes to get up in the early morning before the world gets up and someone who likes to stay up late at night when others have already gone to sleep. Someone who is content and at peace with himself when he has a sense of being all alone in this world.

There is a kind of sacred essence which I glean from the avatar.
Now you can laugh but that is what I sense from the avatar.

Because you wrote the following text too:

Is it right that you are saying that there are many differences when it comes to thinking a picture and imaging a thought?

The two are inextricably linked.

From Art and Design, and Poetry and Writing et al, comes Philosophy. We think first, then we feel/express after.

No, I don’t laugh, but I don’t like shades and shadows more than bright sunlight.

Yes. That’s right.

Are you sure? I mean: Do you always think before you feel? :stuck_out_tongue:

I see you made a funny there…

Even if one was acting on instinct, any actions would still be triggered by a subconscious thought.

What is a “subconscious thought” (according to you)?

…something that sets parameters for us to operate in, and instinct would come under those innate parameters.

Does a thought not always be a conscious one (according to you)?

Ur-thoughts are conscious too. All thoughts are conscious. Even if they are in contact with instincts: Thoughts are always conscious.


In a different sense, unrelated to art, a great deal of thinking and the associated “thoughts” are not conscious (unless you are defining thoughts as only the conscious thoughts). A great deal of cognition is subconscious deducing, predicting, and presuming and often very complex thoughts, difficult to express in spoken language.

Being conscious of your thoughts can mean many different things but in most cases what people mean when they speak of conscious thoughts is words i.e. thoughts expressed in language.

Thoughts express themselves through actions – all kind of actions. They express themselves through verbal actions but they also express themselves through non-verbal actions. In fact, their expression through non-verbal actions, I will argue, is their most significant form of expression.

Being conscious or unconscious of something simply means being aware or unaware of that something. And if that something refers to your thoughts then what it means is being aware or unaware of your thoughts. Your thoughts manifest through your actions and you can be aware or unaware of your actions, and if you are aware of them, you can be aware or unware of what kind of thoughts direct them.

I performed who-knows-how-many actions in the past. Some of these actions I was aware of and I am still aware of. Some of these actions I was aware of but I am no longer aware of (I forgot them.) And some of these actions I was never aware of. Of those actions I am still aware of some of them are processed by my brain which means I have an insight into what kind of thoughts directed them.

The purpose of thinking is prediction.
The purpose of prediction is to prevent what is unwanted from happening.

I define “thoughts” as “concsious thoughts”. So to me, “unsonscious thoughts” don’t exist at all, and something like “subconscious thoughts” should not be called “thoughts” or just “subconscious thoughts” or “preconscious thoughts”.