Understanding Pictures

Paperback | May 27, 2004

byDominic McIver Lopes

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There are many ways to picture the world - Australian `x-ray' pictures, cubist collages, Amerindian split-style figures, and pictures in two-point perspective each draw attention to different features of what they represent. The premise of Understanding Pictures is that this diversity is thecentral fact with which a theory of figurative pictures must reckon.Lopes argues that identifying pictures' subjects is akin to recognizing objects whose appearances have changed over time. He develops a schema for categorizing the different ways pictures represent--the different kinds of meaning they have--and he contends that depiction's epistemic value lies inits representational diversity. He also offers a novel account of the phenomenology of pictorial experience, comparing pictures to visual prostheses like mirrors and binoculars.The book concludes with a discussion of works of art which have made pictorial meaning their theme, demonstrating the importance of the issues this book raises for understanding the aesthetics of pictures.

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There are many ways to picture the world - Australian `x-ray' pictures, cubist collages, Amerindian split-style figures, and pictures in two-point perspective each draw attention to different features of what they represent. The premise of Understanding Pictures is that this diversity is thecentral fact with which a theory of figurati...

Dominic Lopes is at Department of Philosophy, University of British Columbia.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.55 inPublished:May 27, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199272034

ISBN - 13:9780199272037

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Table of Contents

I Pictures as Perceptual1. Representation and Resemblance2. Depiction and VisionII Pictures as Symbols3. Goodman's Symbol Theory4. Symbols and Substitutes5. Pictorial ReferenceIII Aspect Recognition6. Pictorial Content7. Pictorial Recognition8. Pictorial Meaning9. Pictorial ExperienceIV Applications10. Fictive Pictures11. Picturing PicturesBibliographyPicture CreditsIndex

Editorial Reviews

`Lopes writes in a very engaging and accessible way ... those much less versed than he can expect to come away with a better understanding of what he shows to be an interesting subject. This is philosophical writing of a very high order, to my mind. Lopes is a master of simple, intriguing andcompelling arguments ... [he] is to be congratulated on producing a first-class work in philosophical aesthetics.'Gordon Graham, The Philosophical Quarterly