Walter Lippmann and the stereotype: The World outside and the Pictures in our heads

The starting point for our enquiry into the sociological imagination is Walter Lippmann’s theory of the stereotype. This introduces us into thinking about perception and what influences and shapes this process—specifically how what we trust as an ‘authentic messenger’ can actually create what Lippmann called a ‘pseudo reality’. Below I will outline Lippmann’s theory, briefly mention Harold Lasswell’s work on social psychology that became the basis for understanding propaganda from the 1920s onwards and introduce C. Wright Mills’ idea of the Cultural Apparatus. I then go on to look at Henri Bergson’s work on the study of consciousness and perception—Phenomenology—and its influence on Cubism and avant-garde art of the 1900s. After explaining some of the terminology such as Noesis (Greek for to perceive) and Noema (Greek for what is thought about) I conclude with examples of how a phenomenological approach can help us understand art.


The theory of the stereotype

In the early twentieth-century, probably influenced by the invention of radio, people became fascinated with séances and mediums—to intrigue people and keep the fad going photographic evidence was produced of ‘ectoplasm’ (above) supposedly the stuff ghosts are made of. The séances and mediums were often exposed as frauds but people kept coming. Today we might find it unusual that people believed this: but what if this sort of deceptive illusion happens on a wider scale? How can we understand how it works—how has it been studied?

In 1938 Orson Welles’ radio dramatisation of H. G. Wells’ ‘War of the Worlds’ was taken so seriously by huge numbers of the US population that it reportedly caused mass hysteria. Of the estimated 6 million listeners 28% thought it was real. There is evidence that an expert on Psychological Warfare, Hadley Cantril, hired Welles in order to study the behavior of citizens under panic conditions.[1] Cantril’s study of the psychology of panic ‘The Invasion from Mars’ found that a lack of critical ability seemed conducive to fear—people did nothing to check what the radio was saying because they trusted it as an ‘authentic messenger’ (Cantril, 1940).

Walter Lippmann’s (1922) Public Opinion begins with ‘The World outside and the Pictures in our heads,’ the chapter that introduced his conception of the ‘stereotype’. This explained how public opinion was formed and manipulated because of what we trust as an ‘authentic messenger’. Lippmann had worked with the CREEL Committee that influenced public opinion by censoring information that was anti-war and producing thousands of pro-war pamphlets, cartoons, magazines, and movies so that the USA could enter the World War in 1917 after stating it would not.

Lippmann tried to explain how the pictures that arise spontaneously in people’s minds come to be—a simplification of his theory is that we live in second-hand worlds. Because we are aware of much more than we have personally experienced our own experience is mainly indirect. Lippmann felt that the only feeling that anyone can have about an event, that they did not experience, is the feeling aroused by their mental image of that event.

The example he offered was the story of a girl who breaks into “a paroxysm of grief” when a gust of wind cracks a windowpane. Her actions are incomprehensible to others, but for her if a windowpane broke it meant that a close relative had died. The cracked glass was an authentic messenger to the girl, but she had: “hallucinated a complete fiction out of one external fact and a remembered superstition” (Lippmann, 1922: 4). He is saying that even although we can see the irrationality of it in others, we all engage in this process. Whatever it might be, we give our trust to what we have judged to be an authentic messenger—we give our assent to it. His line of thought is often thought of as psychological but it is more related to a phenomenological approach in my judgement. 

When he looked at this process more generally Lippmann discovered the common factor was the insertion between humans and their environment of a pseudo-environment. Our behavior is a response to this pseudo-environment. But because it is behavior, the consequences, if they are acts, operate not in the pseudo-environment that stimulated the behavior, but in the real environment where action occurs as a result (Lippmann, 1922: 4). If I put this into diagrammatical form then the cyclical nature outlines a stereotyping process that underlies how our opinions are formed.

We can understand it a little better if we swap Orson Welles’ radio show for the pseudo-environment and see how the hysteria of those who took it seriously would be the behaviour response and perhaps someone being hurt might represent the consequences in reality. We can also put this alongside ancient thinkers ideas such as Zeno (writing in the 5th century BC) who offered one of the earliest explanations of how we perceive using an analogy:

Impressions—an open hand

Assent—a closed hand

Conviction—a clenched fist)

Knowledge—The other hand grasps the fist

Zeno influenced eighteenth-century Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke, George Berkeley and Étienne Condillac who began to believe that perception was the result of habit and not the immediate evidence of the senses. They felt too that memory was a library of former perceptions and that reflection (thinking) was an automatic comparison of these former perceptions. Therefore sensation, after being attention, comparison and judgement, then becomes reflection itself, with the mind far from picking its way to objective truth (Hampson, 1968: 113).

If we come back to Lippmann’s theory he uses the term fictions to mean the representations of the environment which to a lesser or greater extent we make ourselves—these extend all the way from complete hallucination to the scientist’s self-conscious use of a schematic model. The alternative to our everyday use of our fictions would be direct exposure to the ebb and flow of sensation—our hand would be forever open in Zeno’s sense. The real environment is too big, too complex, and too fleeting for direct experience—but we have to give our assent to something. Thus, although we have to act in the environment, we have to reconstruct it on a simpler model before we can cope with it. This simpler model is the stereotype that we have become convinced of—like Zeno’s fist. Lippmann’s conception of a pseudo-environment is a hybrid compound of human nature and conditions.

Lippmann’s book was on how mass public opinion is formed and adjusted and how analysis of governmental processes should try to comprehend the complexity of what they study. His argument is that what we do is based not on direct and certain knowledge (Zeno’s hand grasping the other hand) but on pictures made by us or given to us. He also perceptively extends his theory into our interior world saying that the very fact that we theorise at all is proof that our pseudo-environments, our interior representations of the world, are a determining element in thought, feeling and action (Lippmann, 1922: 7).

Lippmann (1922: 8) argued that the world that we have to deal with politically is out of reach, out of sight and out of mind because it has to be explored, reported and imagined by others. The pictures inside the heads of these others that are then acted upon by groups of people, or individuals acting in the name of groups become Public Opinion.

He believed the chief factors that limits our access to the facts, even before any attempt had been made to manipulate them might relate to these weak spots:

(a) Artificial censorships.

(b) The limitations of social contact.

(c) The comparatively meagre time available in each day for paying attention to public affairs.

(d) The distortion arising because events have to be compressed into very short messages.

(e) The difficulty of making a small vocabulary express a complicated world.

(f) The fear of facing those facts that would seem to threaten the established routine of our lives.

 This trickle of messages from the outside world is affected by our stored up images, our memories. These include preconceptions and prejudices that interpret and fill out the messages to direct the play of our attention and our vision itself. In the individual these limited messages from the outside form into a pattern of stereotypes that are identified with our own interests as we feel and conceive them. Taken together these opinions are crystallized into what Lippmann called Public Opinion: that which relates to a National Will, a Group Mind geared towards a social purpose. So the things we take as a social reality are another level of the stereotyping process—the systems of stereotypes may be the core of our personal tradition, the defences of our position in society.

Controversially the political conclusion that Lippmann drew from his study was that representative government cannot be worked successfully, no matter what the basis of election is, unless there is an independent, expert organization for making the unseen facts intelligible to those who have to make the decisions.[2] Lippmann concluded that public opinions must be organized for the media if they are to be sound, not by the media, as is so often the case today. This type of organization was the task of political scientists as formulators in advance of real decision, instead of apologist, critic, or reporter after the decision has been made.[3]

If we return to propaganda, Lasswell (1971: xv) explained that a propagandist does not just work with fear of the unknown. They identify a potential reservoir of discontent or aspiration. Then they search for ways of discharging this discontent and harnessing the aspirations so that they harmonize with the policy objectives the propagandist seeks. The available means of mobilizing collective action are dependent on words and symbols whose significance is already restricted with the limits (the ‘pre-dispositional patterns’) present in the political arena that effect what can be done. These are described as:

Value structures: who is elite, sub-elite, or rank-and-file in terms of power, wealth, and other preferred outcomes.

Myths: doctrines, formulas and that which is to be admired in the popular imagination.

Techniques: distribution of operational routines affecting behavior and the resource environment.

Culture materials: raw resources, processed resources in the environment.

Lasswell defined a cycle similar to Lippmann’s, whereby the public are limited in the information that is presented to them. They might be reluctant to accept it—but it is still that information that affects their decisions within the democratic system, and still that information that is being presented to them by the government.

Both Lasswell and Lippmann’s ideas influenced C. Wright Mills’ idea of the Cultural Apparatus that broadened this process out to its wider social dimension. For Mills consciousness does not determine our material existence; nor does our material existence determine our consciousness.  Between both stand meanings and designs and communications which others have passed on—first, in human speech itself, and, later, by the management of symbols (Mills, 1959: 405-406).

The Cultural Apparatus was Mills’ collective term for everything that provides symbols to focus experience and meanings to organise knowledge to guide our surface perceptions. Mills thought that most of what we call solid fact or sound interpretation was increasingly dependent upon this cultural apparatus composed of the observation posts, interpretation centres, presentation depots. He means all the organizations and milieux in which artistic, intellectual and scientific work goes on, including those by which entertainment and information are produced and distributed. These received and manipulated interpretations decisively influence the consciousness we have of our existence by providing the clues to what we see, how we should respond and feel about it, and how we respond to those feelings.  Mills was particularly concerned that an increasingly ‘mass society’ was directed by a small elite.

I will return to Mills later. The next two classes touch on how other theorists have tried to tackle stereotypes and the limits of our knowledge—we look at the response by Emile Durkheim and his idea of social facts and Max Weber’s ideas of the ideal type. I will look now Henri Bergson and phenomenology and its influence on the artists who made up the more analytical elements within what we think of as the Cubist movement.

Henri Bergson—Cubism’s phenomenologist

While other writers have drawn parallels between phenomenology and art, Henri Bergson’s popular writing was a main part of the new intellectual atmosphere in which the avant-garde art developed in France.[4] Bergson offered new interpretations of reality and a public assault on the old models of science along with thinkers such as Henri Poincare and Gustav Le Bon. Bergson introduced time as an essential ingredient in understanding reality.

Herbert Read (1959) emphasised Cézanne’s originality by reference to Edmund Husserl and the phenomenological concepts of ‘eidetic purity,’ and ‘Gestalt’ that I will explain below with others. Read said that in modern painting from 1840 to 1910 there was a persistent attempt to correlate art and reality that philosophers, social theorists and artists shared:

It is the research, not of the absolute, but of the concrete, of the image, and behind it all is not only the divorce of the artist from the processes of production, but also the concurrent attempt to establish a philosophy of reality, a [sic] phenomenalism that owes nothing to divine revelation or universal truths, but brings to the analysis of human existence the same faculties that the artist brings to the analysis of nature. Constable, Cézanne, Picasso, Hegel, Husserl, Heidegger; these names represent parallel movements in the evolution of human experience. (Read, 1959: vvii)

Merleau-Ponty took the view that painting does not imitate the world, but is a world of its own and we can view art as a kind of phenomenology—not unlike Picasso’s statement that he painted what he thought rather than what he saw—similar to Merleau-Ponty’s observation that for Cézanne nature is on the inside, that the artist’s vision was a schooling in seeing (Whitehead, Derek, 2007).

Bergson and Du Cubisme

With phrases such as: “Let the picture imitate nothing; let it nakedly present its raison d’être,” Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger’s (1912) Du Cubisme was written with Henri Bergson in mind. The critic Andre Salmon noted Bergson’s tentative agreement to write a preface to the Section d’or exhibition of the same year: “if he was definitely won over by their ideals” probably because at this point French society was particularly repressive (Mark, 1988: 341). The Section d’or included Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes, Robert Delaunay, Henri le Fauconnier and Fernand Léger, and both the essay and the exhibition created the scandal that brought ‘Cubism’ to the attention of the Parisian art world.

No sustained comparative examination of Cubism’s precepts with those of Bergson has been undertaken instead attention has focused on the effect of interpreter’s of Bergson on the Cubist movement. The early Cubists would have been familiar with Bergson’s notion of a temporal continuity connecting the remembered past to a dynamic present. One example here is the ‘Unanimist’ theory by Albert Gleizes, Jules Romain and Rene Arcos, who were also part of the short-lived utopian socialist community the Abbaye de Creteil.[5] They believed that the individual could directly experience the thoughts of others and so obtain a collective consciousness. But ‘intuition’, as defined by Bergson, was part of the ability to immediately discern our own inner being as well as the thoughts of others. The utopian community aiming to escape or oppose Western civilization with politically engaged aesthetic thinking was a search for a simpler, harmonious existence—a common feature of the early avant-garde. This desire to create an environment conducive to creativity is also embodied in the many short-lived movements and manifestos of the period.[6]


Early Cubist works such as Leger’s above are believed to employ multiple viewpoints and combine images from disparate temporal and spatial contexts to evoke Bergson’s phenomenological conception of time known as duration (duree). This involved the distinction between time as spatialized into hours and days and time as experienced. Time in the first sense is a fourth dimension of space, by contrast, experienced time is a qualitative duration, no new parts of which are identical or capable of being repeated. For Bergson inner duration provides a paradigm of creativity; spatialized time provides a paradigm of predictable repetition.

Bergson’s discussed his understanding of artistic intuition in (1907) Creative Evolution and the critique of the intellectual treatment of time is in (1889) Time and Free Will. For Bergson, intellectual time should not be confused with the time we experience in our daily lives. Bergson was also critical of scientific and socially conventional modes of self-representation in that he thought they were unable to signify the personality. This corresponds to the Cubists’ rejection of science and society in an attempt to capture the whole self in a work of art. For Bergson and the Cubists a work of art is a projection of our conscious reaction to deep-seated feelings. Gradually Bergson re-thought ‘duration’ and partially reconceived it as memory where there is no clear-cut distinction between present and past: the past shades into the present without precise boundaries (Gunter, 1982: 636).

Bergson’s theory of successive or accumulated images is discussed in the ‘Introduction to Metaphysics”:

To him who is not capable of giving himself the intuition of the duration constitutive of his being, nothing will ever give it, neither concepts, nor images. In this regard the philosopher’s sole aim should be to start up a certain effort which utilitarian habits of mind tend, in most men, to discourage. Now the image has at least the advantage of keeping us in the concrete. No image will replace the intuition of the duration, but many different images, taken from quite different orders of things, will be able, through the convergence of their action, to direct consciousness to the precise point where there is a certain intuition to seize on. By choosing images as dissimilar as possible, any one of them will be prevented from usurping the place of the intuition it is instructed to call forth…. By seeing that in spite of their differences in aspect they all demand of the mind the same kind of attention and, as it were, the same degree of tension, one will gradually accustom consciousness to a particular and definitely determined disposition, precisely the one it will have to adapt to … to produce the desired effort and, by itself, arrive at the intuition.

Here art evokes intuitive states. If we assume that the Cubists found a precedent for their imagery in the Italian Futurists, even seminal works such as Gino Severini’s ‘Travel Memories’ (below) was painted in response to his reading of Bergson’s (1903) ‘Introduction to Metaphysics.’

What could be called Bergsonism offered an alternative to a Nietzschean form of individualism, and it gave the artists a social mandate: they would set about converting the spectator into a creative individual. The Bergsonian notion of ‘simultaneity’ presented in Du Cubisme is another manifestation of the utopian aspirations that pervaded the early modernist conception of the artist’s role in society that at times represents a drift into mysticism and obscurantism.


There are parallels between Bergson’s philosophy and Carl Jung’s analytical psychology with Bergson’s idea of Élan vital (vital impulse) an ‘aliveness’. Jung used models developed by Bergson to help shape and broaden his own ideas because Bergson intended philosophy to be a fruitful, catalytic agency, not a sterile game for scholars (Gunter, 1982). In Jung’s (1914) ‘The Psychology of the Unconscious’ he stated the similarities:

…the concept of the libido which I have given is a concept parallel to that of elan vital; my constructive method corresponds to his intuitive method. I, however, confine myself to the psychological side and to practical work. When I first read Bergson a year and a half ago I discovered to my great pleasure everything which I had worked out practically, but expressed by him in consummate language and in wonderfully clear philosophical style. (Gunter, 1982: 639)

By 1910, as the Cubists were scandalizing Paris, Jung had connected Bergson’s concept of creative duration with the concept of libido and later he restated the connection, extending it to include symbolic expression. That Bergson’s philosophy and Cubist painting share the idea of simultaneity can be seen in passages of Cubist painters’ writings dealing with time that read like paraphrases of Bergson’s work. Bergson’s insistence that perceived reality is duration, that an object is only known through our experience of it in time, that the image of a static world is false, all sound like a description of Cubist art.

You may well be wondering where Picasso is here, but there are at least two main Cubist groups: the Petaux group (Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger and so on, a little more middle-class and analytical) and the Bateau Lavoir group (around Picasso and more anarchic which we examine next week). During this period Picasso complained that:

Mathematics, trigonometry, chemistry, psycho-analysis, music, and whatnot, have been related to cubism to give it an easier interpretation. All this has been pure literature, not to say nonsense which brought bad results, blinding people with theories. (Mitchell, 1977: 180)

Bergson’s ideas—largely phenomenological in character—were extremely popular in France and he won the Nobel Prize: he persuaded Woodrow Wilson that the US should enter World War I, he worked to found the League of Nations (as did Lippmann), he served as president of the precursor to UNESCO, and directly influenced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he debated with Einstein and influenced Marcel Proust’s A La recherché du temps perdu who he was related to. But ironically he has become lost to time. Writers like Bertrand Russell unfairly felt that Bergson’s concepts like élan vital fitted in with a conservative, religious and nostalgic attack on modernity that dominated Vichey France, to which Bergson was opposed.[7] His ‘mysticism’ became connected to late nineteenth-century interest in the occult and associated with Theosophy (which is where we started) that had begun to influence the small artists groups. 

Phenomenology—some key terms

Phenomenology studies how we make sense of the world—it offers an insight into the interpretation of art in terms of how we ‘look’ and what we think we see. It also enables us to understand how artists—influenced by Bergson and others—have used how we perceive to develop and change contemporary modes of representation. Art becomes more philosophical with the avant-garde with the idea that insight can be obtained through experience of the work of art itself. Art can show us things that we could not otherwise see—here we echo Leonardo da Vinci’s belief that painting can aid scientific understanding. Below I will explain some basic terms used in phenomenology and relate them to a few art works roughly from the period we have examined.

Noesis is Greek for to perceive. It means to know something immediately as an act of consciousness rather than just perception. This subjective part of an intentional experience is distinguished from Noema the Greek for what is thought about. Noesis and Noema form the two aspects of what the phenomenologists call intentionality: meaning the perception of thought. Clearly Cubism plays with this: Noesis assigns meaning to intentional objects but Cubism uses time and memory to distort this but noesis and noema still correspond respectively to experience and essence and embody the intentionality of consciousness.


In Odilon Redon’s symbolist paintings we struggle to comprehend what he invokes—even the title is vague. A sense of mystery emerges from the ambiguity as it produces an enigma. We experience a felt reality as if we are in a dream. The forms take their ‘being’, or are about to take their being, from our state of mind. They are metaphorical and follow Redon’s esoteric interests in putting the ‘logic of the visible to the service of the invisible’ and the ‘real at the service of the unreal’. It seems the opposite with Paula Modersohn-Becker’s portraits, but they too have an inner preoccupation that eludes words but is highly expressive. She combines a timeless essence with an image seen as existing in real social space. The head on directness was unusual for its subject matter, but, the children’s outward appearance suggests an inward life—they stare out but into us. The intensity and frankness with which the subject is grasped and imbued with comes from Modersohn-Becker’s interest in ‘soulful eyes’ and her desire to have a child. She was one of the first artists to move beyond the ‘male gaze’ with the subject of mother and child transformed—the mother is an artist.

Noesis assigns meaning to intentional objects. It is the process of thinking deeply about something (e.g. we might intentionally ponder the meaning of the ‘Yellow Cape’). The Noemata is what you thought deeply about and obviously they are linked. Every intentional experience has a noetic (real) phase and a noematic (non-real) phase (e.g. we see the ‘Yellow Cape’ and come up with what it is). The Noesis phase of consciousness corresponds to the Noematic phase of consciousness—the terms are used as a means to explain the objective meaning we experience in our imagination.


The Noesis phase arrives at its meaning using reason (including for Rendon’s transcendent objects) while the Noemata phase arrives at the meaning by pure intuition of immanent objects. For Noesis meaning is transcendent, for the Noemata meaning is immanent. Noesis and Noema correspond respectively to experience and essence.

The Egon Schiele portrait (above) uses line and colour to convey more than a posture—it is a disconcerting ‘body language’. The psychic depth of his subjects often emerge through their body’s exaggerated pose that highlights basic issues of human existence, loneliness and connection, sexuality or mortality.[8] It is one of Schiele’s friend Mime van Osen, part of their New Art Group, who was commissioned to draw the ‘pathological expression’ of the inmates of an Asylum. They both adopted their unusual poses to enhance their unconventional personality and incorporated them into their art. Schiele conveys Van Osen’s contorted angst with no background or context making the portrait seem an existential, almost psychoanalytic examination to diagnose a state of inner being. The complex relationships between inner experience and how it is externally manifested means we experience an essence.


Käthe Kollwitz’s work often depicted mothers protecting children from the hazards of war, but above the mother figure is absent to highlight the feeling of desperate emptiness: intuitively, we often see absences. Noesis assigns meaning to the hungry children, while the Noemata makes us ponder what can be done. We see beyond what is portrayed because Kollwitz induces empathy to encourage the alleviation of suffering—we can become what is absent. It was commissioned by the International Workers’ Relief Organisation and published as a poster (sometimes with text as below) by the ‘Help by the Artists’ groups to raise money.[9] Kollwitz’s style combines her deep emotions and uncompromising politics to document and give voice to the sufferings of humankind. It is ‘truth-disclosing’ via the emotions the children are the ‘embodiment’ of, and also how we are orientated towards them to evaluate their situation.


Noemata are what consciousness intends (that which is to consciousness). You can see how the word looks like part of Phenomenon (which means appear to be manifest). For the phenomenologists there is no consciousness except consciousness of something (love of, thought of, fear of, doubt of… something). It could be thought of as how style was related to content as artists moved towards conveying internal emotions rather than the external world. In Matisse’s perception of his studio (below) it becomes a retrospective of his art. The colour red exists almost independently of the studio space with time standing still in the central form of a clock (with no hands). His studio becomes a world within the world where everything is pressed together so we can perceive and experience his emotional representation. The empty chair is where Mattisse would sit and his initials ‘HM’ can be seen in the right corner. He knew of Bergson’s work and expresses the elusive present as an interpenetration of past and future.

Noesis is the specific style of consciousness (the ways in which consciousness intends) our Approaching it: thinking, fearing, loving, hoping, desiring, suspecting… In Marc Chagall’s (1915) The Birthday this process is visually embodied in how the form relates to the emotional content evoked.


Pierre Bonnard did not work from nature but from a primary conception, his starting point was an idea. The Bowl of Milk (above) began with a vivid nostalgia (reverie) that opened up stored past experience: he combined memories with photographs in allusions to his personal life, usually set in intimate interiors such as his apartment in Antibes. Bonnard wrote about ‘nearness’ as a component of his work but he felt the precision of naming took away from the uniqueness of seeing. The beauty of the shimmer of Mediterranean light somehow also looks like moonlight and the cat waits eternally for its milk, while the figure is remote. It could be his wife Marthe de Meligny or his mistress, Renée Monchaty, who committed suicide a few years after it was painted.[10]


Another phenomenological term useful for artists to understand is the Eidetic. It means mental images that have unusual vividness and detail, or an effect as if they were actually visible. It also means the ‘Form’ things take. It also relates to Husserl’s notion of an eidetic science, an important influence on Heidegger on existential phenomenology, and on the philosophy of mind.


Phenomena as they appears to us suggest aspects of themselves other than the ones we perceived: a face suggests a back of the head: the side I perceive suggests other sides: the front suggests the back, and it is the same with abstract, ideal, unreal things: democracy, love, virtue as we see with Munch’s (1893) The Scream. For the phenomenologists the associations are part of appresentation (indicative of psychic states) and apprehension (mental processes by which we make sense of an idea by assimilating it to the body of ideas we already possess). These suggest other aspects of the same thing in their entirety and are called Inner Horizons. The Outer Horizon is the totality of other phenomenon that are not ‘attended to’ (looked at) but which the phenomenon perceived might refer to. For René Magritte “Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see”. The chair in Picasso’s (1912) Still Life with Chair Caning may refer to furniture, to the house, street, community and in De Chirico’s enigmatic ‘Metaphysical’ paintings the outer horizon is the universe.



Antliff, Mark Robert (1988) ‘Bergson and Cubism: A Reassessment,’ Art Journal, Vol. 47, No. 4, Revising Cubism, pp. 341-349.

Cantril, Hadley (1940) ‘The Invasion from Mars,’ in Schramm, Wilbur (ed.) (1954) The Process and Effects of Mass Communication, pp. 411-423,

Gunter, Pete A. Y. (1982) ‘Bergson and Jung,’ Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 43, No. 4, pp. 635-652.

Hampson, Norman (1968) The Enlightenment, London, Pelican.

Heidegger, Martin (1950) ‘The Origin of the Work of Art’, in Off the Beaten Track, Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-56,

Lasswell, Harold D. (1971) Propaganda Technique in World War I, Cambridge, MIT Press.

Lippmann, Walter (1922) Public Opinion, New York, MacMillan Co.

Merleau-Ponty, M. (1945) ‘Cézanne’s Doubt’, In Johnson, G. (ed.) (1993) The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader: Philosophy and Painting, pp. 59-75, Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press,

Metzinger, Jean & Gleizes, Albert (1912) Du Cubisme,


Mills, C. Wright (1959b) ‘The Decline of the Left,’ in Horowitz, Irving Louis (1963) Power, Politics & People: The Collected Essays of C. Wright Mills, New York, Oxford University Press, pp. 221-236.


Mitchell, Timothy (1977) ‘Bergson, Le Bon, and Hermetic Cubism,’ The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 36, No. 2, pp. 175-183.

Read, Herbert (1959) The History of Modern Painting, New York, Preager.

Quinn, Carolyne (2009) ‘Perception and Painting in Merleau-Ponty’s Thought’, Perspectives : International Postgraduate Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 2, No. 1,

Whitehead, Derek (2007) ‘Artist’s Labor,’ Contemporary Aesthetics, Vol. 5,

[1] Cantril was a founder of the Princeton Listening Center, which evolved into the CIA-financed Foreign Broadcast Information Service. His work focused on elaborating Lippmann’s concept of the stereotype and his career was closely bound up with US intelligence and clandestine psychological operations: since at least the late 1930s. This included the use of surveys of US domestic public opinion on foreign policy and domestic political issues. He placed demographic characteristics on a US ideological spectrum he had devised as part of the Cold War that imagined a world-wide Communist conspiracy.

[2] Lippmann (1922) stated he found it an intolerable and unworkable ‘fiction’ that each of us must acquire a competent opinion about all public affairs. He said that the problem of the Press (we would now say media) is confused because both the critics and the apologists expect the Press to realize this fiction, and for it to make up for everything that had not been foreseen in the theory of democracy, and that the readership expected this ‘miracle’ to be performed at no cost or trouble to themselves. He thought that newspapers were not remedies for these defects, and that analysis of the nature of news and of the economic basis of journalism indicated that the newspapers reflect, and in greater or lesser measure intensified, the defective organisation of public opinion.

[3] John Dewey responded to Lippmann’s idea of the adaptation of the pictures in our heads to the world outside with the idea that communication was a collaborative cultural act—what would now be thought of as a social constructivist position—with a creative production and interpretation of words and symbols.

[4] In an essay ‘On the origin of the work of art’ (written in the 1930s) Martin Heidegger explained the essence of art in terms of the concepts of being and truth. Art is a way in which truth comes to ‘happen’ and ‘be’ in the ‘real’ world, a way in which ‘that which is’ is revealed and clearly preserved in a work of art. Merleau-Ponty (1945) wrote that Cézanne by remaining faithful to the phenomena in his investigations of perspective discovered the “lived perspective,” that which we actually perceive. For Merleau-Ponty, perception is an expressive and creative instance intimately linked with artistic practice (Quinn, 2009: 9).

[5] The name is probably a reference to François Rabelais’s satire Gargantua and Pantagruel: here the Abbaye de Thélème is an ‘anti-monastery’ where your time was spent according to your own free will and pleasure.

[6] Exceptions to this include the Futurists

[7] Russell rejected of Bergson’s political principles because he “recasts” problems to allow new understandings of democracy, religion, and freedom.

[8] Schiele’s experience of death, sickness and pathological behavior in his family enters into his painting from 1909 onwards and blurs the distinction between the normal and the abnormal into an awakened subjectivity.

[9] In Vienna in 1926 the blockade by Britain and the U.S. deliberately caused postwar food shortages, unemployment and inflation. A few years later it used in several posters in various countries including one to support the American war effort.

[10] “I stand in a corner of the room, near to this table bathed in sunlight. The eye sees distant masses as having an almost linear aspect, without relief, without depth. But near objects rise up towards it. The sides trail away and these shifts are sometimes rectilinear—for what is distant—sometimes curved—for planes that are near. The vision of distant things is a flat vision. It is the near planes which give the idea of the universe as the human eye sees it, of a universe that is rolling or convex or concave.” Quoted from

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