On Images: Their Structure And Content

Hardcover | March 8, 2006

byJohn V. Kulvicki

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Whether it was the demands of life, leisure, or a combination of both that forced our hands, we have developed a myriad of artefacts---maps, notes, descriptions, diagrams, flow-charts, photographs, paintings, and prints---that stand for other things. Most agree that images and their closerelatives 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 argues that this starting point is fundamentally misguided. Whether a representation is an image depends not on how it is perceived but on how it relates to others within a system. This kind of approach, first championed by Nelson Goodman in his Languages of Art, has not found manysupporters, 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. It undermines the claim that pictures are essentially visual by showing that audio recordings, tactile line drawings, and other non-visual representations are pictorial. Also, by avoiding explaining images in terms of how weperceive them, this account sheds new light on why pictures seem so perceptually special in the first place. This discussion of picture perception recasts some old debates on the topic, suggests further lines of philosophical and empirical research, and ultimately leads to a new perspective onpictorial realism.

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Whether it was the demands of life, leisure, or a combination of both that forced our hands, we have developed a myriad of artefacts---maps, notes, descriptions, diagrams, flow-charts, photographs, paintings, and prints---that stand for other things. Most agree that images and their closerelatives are special because, in some sense, th...

John V. Kulvicki is at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.79 inPublished:March 8, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019929075X

ISBN - 13:9780199290758

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Alberti's Window, Leonardo's Mirror, and van Gogh's RoomPart One: Image Structure1. Goodman's Progress2. Repleteness, Sensitivity, and Richness3. Transparency4. Mimesis5. Other Visibilia and Other MediaPart Two: Image Content6. Bare Bones Content7. Understanding Commitments8. Sense Data and Bare Bones Content9. Fleshing-out and Seeing-in10. Perceiving PicturesPart Three: Realism and Variety11. Verity12. Information, Imitation, and Inculcation