One of the 5 senses, often understood by contemporary media and critical theorists as the sense constituitive of the modern subject experience.

  • As Marshall McLuhan argues in The Gutenberg Galaxy, vision is the primary sense of modern man, beginning with the developments associated with print visuality in the Renaissance. Vision is an over-endulged sense in McLuhan's estimate, occupying the superior percentage of man's sense ratios. Visual man is eventual superceded by the latest manifestation of audio-tacticle, or electric, man in the late 19th/early 20th century.
  • Jonathan Crary explains in Techniques of the Observer that in the 18th century, vision was "a priori in the service of a nonsensory faculty of understanding that alone gives a true conception of the world". However, this primacy of vision should not be fed into that narrative about the autonomization and increasing specialization of vision that occurs in the 19th and 20th centuries (57).