Philosophical Studies

, Volume 173, Issue 1, pp 187–203 | Cite as

Pictures, presence and visibility

Article

Abstract

This paper outlines a ‘perceptual account’ of depiction. It centrally contrasts with experiential accounts of depiction in that seeing something in a picture is understood as a visual experience of something present in the picture, rather than as a visual experience of something absent. The experience of a picture is in this respect akin to a veridical rather than hallucinatory perceptual experience on a perceptual account. Thus, the central selling-point of a perceptual account is that it allows taking at face value the intuitive claim that we see things in pictures. Preserving this claim has a potential cost, however: we need to postulate that some kind of thing, T, is present in the realm of the picture, and it is not straightforward to find a plausible type of entity to play this role. The paper examines three alternative choices of T; T may be a material object, a visual appearance or a universal.

Keywords

Depiction Pictorial representation Perception Universals Appearance Seeing-in 

References

  1. Alberti, L. B. (1966/1435). On painting (J. R. Spencer, Trans.). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Armstrong, D. M. (1989). Universals: An opinionated introduction. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  3. Blumson, B. (2010). Pictures, perspective and possibility. Philosophical Studies, 149(2), 135–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bricker, P. (1996). Isolation and unification: The realist analysis of possible worlds. Philosophical Studies, 84(2/3), 225–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bricker, P. (2000). Island universes and the analysis of modality. In G. Preyer & F. Siebelt (Eds.), Reality and Humean supervenience: Essays on the philosophy of David Lewis. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  6. Budd, M. (1992). On looking at a picture. In J. Hopkins & A. Savile (Eds.), Psychoanalysis, mind and art. Perspectives on Richard Wollheim. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  7. Budd, M. (1993). How pictures look. In D. Knowles & J. Skorupski (Eds.), Virtue and taste. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  8. Campbell, J. (2002). Reference and consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Freeland, C. (2007). Portraits in painting and photography. Philosophical Studies, 135(1), 95–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gombrich, E. H. (1977). Art and illusion. A study in the psychology of pictorial representation. Oxford: Phaidon Press.Google Scholar
  11. Goodman, N. (1976). Languages of art. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  12. Hopkins, R. (1998). Picture, image and experience. A philosophical inquiry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Husserl, E. (2001/1913). Logical investigations (J. N. Findlay, Trans.). D. Moran (ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Hyman, J. (2006). The objective eye. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Johnston, M. (2004). The obscure object of hallucination. Philosophical Studies, 120(1/3), 113–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lewis, D. (1986). On the plurality of worlds. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  17. Lopes, D. M. (2005). Sight and sensibility. Evaluating pictures. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Martin, M. G. F. (2012). Sounds and images. British Journal of Aesthetics, 52(4), 331–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Peacocke, C. (1987). Depiction. Philosophical Review, 96(3), 383–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Salmon, N. (1996). Trans-world identification and stipulation. Philosophical Studies, 84(2/3), 203–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Schopenhauer, A. (1969/1818–1819). The world as will and representation (E. F. J. Payne, Trans.). New York: Dover Publications.Google Scholar
  22. Walton, K. (1984). Transparent pictures: On the Nature of photographic realism. Critical Inquiry, 11(2), 246–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Walton, K. (1990). Mimesis as make-believe. On the foundations of the representational arts. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Wiesing, L. (2010). Artificial presence. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Wollheim, R. (1980). Art and its objects (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wollheim, R. (1998). On pictorial representation. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 56(3), 217–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Zeimbekis, J. (2010). Pictures and singular thought. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 68(1), 11–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature (CSMN)University of OsloOsloNorway

Personalised recommendations