Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

According to the website, aphantasia is the inability to visualize, otherwise known as image-free thinking. I don't know whether I'm aphantasic - I mean, how would I know, right? - but I do know my mental imagery is nothing compared to the full audio I listen to in my mind every moment of every day. Mette Leonard Høeg suggests that "aphantasia may come with an increased interest in the visual world," which I think is true. Also, like aphantasics, I have great difficulty remembering faces and would "describe my imagination and memories as conceptual and emotional – consisting of thoughts, feelings and sensations." The article focuses on the advantages of aphantasia for scientists and philosophers, and Derek Parfit (who argues that "personal identity is reducible to physical and psychological continuity of mental states, and that there is no 'further fact', diachronic entity or essence that determines identity"). Is aphantasia permanent and immutable? I have no idea. But from the perspective of learning, no matter what you think of learning styles, I think that aphantasia is a thing that needs to be taken into account.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Mar 22, 2023 09:21 a.m.