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Should sex and violence be banned on our television screens ? Is there a danger that their presence can lead to them becoming common-place, or to delinquency ? In light of this current debate, Serge Tisseron argues that as soon as we become accustomed to a type of image, and it ceases to upset us, we invent another type which will once more allow us to confuse image and reality, and thus to shiver again with fear and anxiety. In a society which is flooded with images, it is thus essential to use them as best we can, and to avoid the dangers that are inherent in them. This book aims to contribute to this end. Serge Tisseron is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, doctor of psychology and research fellow at the University of Paris-X. For the past fifteen years, he has worked on the relations that viewers have with different types of images.
It was during the Renaissance that images and pictures were first used by anatomists, microscopists, and astronomers as scientific tools. In that era, scientific images served as a kind of inventory of the known world. In the 19th century, the popularization of scientific ideas gave science a new vigor. Photographic images gave science a new reality, explaining and legitimizing scientific concepts--movement, for example--to a fascinated public. In our days, the scientific image is often a construction--helping us to represent objects and ideas that, like fractals or black holes, cannot be defined through actual observation. Monique Sicard is Projects Director at CNRS Images Média.
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