JAMES ELKINS THE OBJECT STARES BACK PDF

Instead, there is a force to the light: it pushes its way into our eyes; and conversely, there is a force to the eyes: they push their way into the world. Even when I am not thinking of the use of objects, they remind me of use. And there is a curious thing here that easily passes unnoticed: I do not focus on anything that is not connected in some way with my own desires and actions. I fail to see the stretches of wall between the lamp and the coffee cup, or the manila paper of the file folders, ore the black plastic calendar holder.

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Full Text Reviews Appeared in Choice on Elkins is an art historian and the author of several important works. Here he is concerned with the ways in which the perceiver and perceived interact and how each is changed in important ways by that interaction.

Although he pays special attention to the perception of human faces, bodies, and behaviors, he offers ideas across the range of visual perception. The illustrations are directly relevant to the text; a few are shocking, even revolting, but necessary to the discussion because what we cannot see or cannot bear to see provides insights into the nature of perception.

Kuchler and W. All levels. Cormack New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Appeared in Publishers Weekly on Because our viewing of people, places and objects is molded by thoughts of using, possessing, keeping or cherishing what is seen, we actually perceive very little of what we look at, claims Elkins.

In a remarkable tour de force, this art historian uses scores of intriguing photos and illustrations of a mermaid, ice halos in Alaska, the surface of atoms, a eunuch, a medieval Russian icon painting, etc.

Elkins, who teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, analyzes how we read the human face and discusses pathologies of vision such as blindness and glaucoma. He pays special attention to phenomena that we view with ambivalence or dread-naked bodies, executions, death a few of the images reproduced here are grisly. He sometimes overstates his case, as when he lamely argues that we exist in "a world full of gazes" because "each object has a certain force, a certain way of resisting or accepting my look and returning that look to me.

Elkins further argues that "seeing is irrational, inconsistent and undependable. In particular, Elkins describes how we see very little of the world and how "each act of vision mingles seeing with not seeing. His discussion of our response to the human face is particularly compelling, as is his contention that "vision helps us to know what we are like," forcing us to adjust our version of the self as we see ourselves reflected in others.

This unusual, thought-provoking, and well-written book offers an original perspective on the psychology and philosophy of vision. No redistribution permitted.

Reviews This item was reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, July To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities. Summaries Main Description In this "remarkable tour de force" Publishers Weekly -a "ceaselessly thought-provoking book" Kirkus Reviews -art historian James Elkins marshals psychology, philosophy, science, and art history to show how seeing alters the thing seen and transforms the seer.

Black-and-white photographs. Main Description In this remarkable tour de force Publishers Weekly -a ceaselessly thought-provoking book Kirkus Reviews -art historian James Elkins marshals psychology, philosophy, science, and art history to show how seeing alters the thing seen and transforms the seer.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources.

MARC View.

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JAMES ELKINS THE OBJECT STARES BACK PDF

Full Text Reviews Appeared in Choice on Elkins is an art historian and the author of several important works. Here he is concerned with the ways in which the perceiver and perceived interact and how each is changed in important ways by that interaction. Although he pays special attention to the perception of human faces, bodies, and behaviors, he offers ideas across the range of visual perception. The illustrations are directly relevant to the text; a few are shocking, even revolting, but necessary to the discussion because what we cannot see or cannot bear to see provides insights into the nature of perception. Kuchler and W. All levels. Cormack New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology Appeared in Publishers Weekly on Because our viewing of people, places and objects is molded by thoughts of using, possessing, keeping or cherishing what is seen, we actually perceive very little of what we look at, claims Elkins.

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The Object Stares Back Quotes

So I never got to flesh out any thoughts about them. Pictures of autumn leaves would come out partly the way they naturally look and partly glowing pink-and-turquoise. A picture of a hand would look a little waxy, with the surgace veins showing through as if the skin had become transparent. The color infared film was also a way to think about the vision of other animals. Some animals see different wavelengths than we do; this raises curious questions about how they perceive the world.

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The Object Stares Back: On the Nature of Seeing

He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias , showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do.

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The Object Stares Back

Impressions wash across my awareness. The author, with various examples from across the world and centuries, illustrates how, even though it seems complete and seamless, our view of the world is fragmented and incomplete. The world is flooded with light, and everything is available to be seen. After finishing that chapter, I wanted more so I bought the book and read its entirety. Jul 13, Dave-O rated it it was amazing.

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