Book

On Images

John V. Kulvicki

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780199290758
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191604010 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019929075X.001.0001
On Images

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This book argues that what it is to be a picture does not fundamentally concern how such representations can be perceived, but how they relate to one another syntactically and semantically. 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. It is shown that a properly crafted structural account of pictures has many advantages over the perceptual accounts that dominate the literature on this topic. Part I (Chapters 1-5) presents the account and draws out some of its immediate consequences. In particular, it explains the close relationship between pictures, diagrams, graphs, and other kinds of non-linguistic representation. Also, it 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 II (Chapters 6-10) shows that the structural account of depiction can help to explain why pictures seem so perceptually special. Part III (Chapters 11-12) provides a new account of pictorial realism and shows how accounting for realism relates to an account of depiction in general.

Keywords: picture; image; resemblance; transparency; repleteness; sensitivity; richness; content; realism; sense data

Book.  272 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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Table of Contents

Transparency in On Images

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Mimesis in On Images

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