Percept vs Phantasm

Some of the best things are not the new ones, but the old ones repeated well.

“First the external senses…operate on an object present before us and produce a percept. The internal senses, primarily the imagination, produce a phantasm or mental image of the individual object perceived, and this phantasm is retained and can be reproduced at will in the absence of the object.”

Easy. You look at something, form an image of it, and remember it later. Less easy. The thing is real, the external senses lead you to perceive it incompletely and subjectively, the internal senses create a phantasm that’s incomplete and subjective and further colored by missing details, falsely filled-in details, emotions, other events, and similar experiences rendering it somewhat generic.

So, are memories generally incorrect? I can remember my phone number. How subjective can I make my phone number? How incorrect could I possibly get it? I either have it or I don’t. I remember it though. I remember processes and formulas in Excel, and I use them to solve problems. I don’t always remember all their functions. How about a chair? Can I remember a chair? I know a chair needs four legs, a seat, a back, some armrests. I just invented a generic chair in my imagination. I can’t place it anywhere in reality–the chair I just invented has a curved back and round wooden bars and seems fairly uncomfortable. I don’t think I’ve seen it before. Also, I don’t think I can really draw it. I can’t really remember how my favorite chair looks either. Slightly I can, but not entirely. I know where it is, I know how it spins. Also, I have no idea what my chair at work looks like. I’ve been sitting in it for nearly two years now. Alright, so, memories aren’t much good. But, I suppose the important thing is that when I see a chair I know I’m supposed to sit in it rather than try putting it on like a shoe.

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