On Images: Their Structure and Content

ISBN: 0199561672

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Posted on 2011-01-19. By anonymous.

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On Images: Their Structure and Content



On Images: Their Structure and Content
Publisher: Oxford University Press | English | 2009 | ISBN: 0199561672 | PDF | 272 pages | 14 Mb


Whether it was the demands of life, leisure, or a combination of both that forced our hands, we have developed a myriad of artifacts--maps, notes, descriptions, diagrams, flow-charts, photographs, paintings, and prints--that stand for other things. Most agree that images and their close relatives are special because, in some sense, they look like what they are about. This simple claim is the starting point for most philosophical investigations into the nature of depiction.

On Images, by contrast, argues that what it is to be a picture does not fundamentally concern how such representations can be perceived. What matters is not how we perceive representations but how they relate to one another. This kind of approach, first championed by Nelson Goodman in his Languages of Art, has not found many supporters, in part because of weaknesses with Goodman's account. On Images shows that a properly crafted structural account of pictures has many advantages over the perceptual accounts that dominate the literature on this topic. In particular, it explains the close relationship between pictures, diagrams, graphs and other kinds of non-linguistic representation. Kulvicki undermines the claim that pictures are essentially visual by showing how many kinds of non-visual representations, including audio recordings and tactile line drawings, are genuinely pictorial. Part Two shows that the structural account of depiction can help to explain why pictures seem so perceptually special, rather than taking that fact for granted. Based on these results, Part Three provides a new account of pictorial realism.

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