Pictures are a quintessential source of aesthetic pleasure. This makes it easy to forget that they are epistemically valuable no less than they are aesthetically so. Pictures are representations. As such, they may furnish us with knowledge of the objects they represent. In this article I provide an account of why photographs are of greater epistemic utility than handmade pictures. To do so, I use a novel approach: I seek to illuminate the epistemic utility of photographs by situating both photographs (...) and handmade pictures among the sources of knowledge. This method yields an account of photography's epistemic utility that better connects the issue with related issues in epistemology and is relatively superior to other accounts. Moreover, it answers a foundational issue in the epistemology of pictorial representation: I argue that photographs have greater epistemic utility than handmade pictures because photographs are sources of perceptual knowledge, while handmade pictures are sources of testimonial knowledge. (shrink)
Sensorimotor theorists of perception have argued that eye movement is a necessary condition for seeing on the basis that subjects whose retinal images do not move undergo a form of blindness. I show that the argument does not work.
I distinguish between two kinds of sensorimotor expectations: agent- and object-active ones. Alva Noë's answer to the problem of how perception acquires volumetric content illicitly privileges agent-active expectations over object-active expectations, though the two are explanatorily on a par. Considerations which Noë draws upon concerning how organisms may ‘off-load’ internal processes onto the environment do not support his view that volumetric content depends on our embodiment; rather, they support a view of experience which is restrictive of the body's role in (...) perception. My objections undercut central arguments which Noë gives for his brand of enactivism. (shrink)
Recent work on seeing-in has taken a pluralist turn. There is variety among pictures, so we should expect variety among seeing-in. Dominic Lopes’s taxonomy of seeing-in is arguably the most thorough that is currently available. Lopes identifies five varieties of seeing-in. In this paper I identify a sixth: pseudo-actualism. This paper improves our current best taxonomy of seeing-in.
The claim that photographs are fictionally incompetent (i.e. that they can only depict those particulars they are appropriately causally related to) is argued by Noël Carroll, Gregory Currie, and Nigel Warburton to be falsified by cinematic works of fiction. In response I firstly argue that it does not follow from cinema's having a capacity for the representation of ficta that photography has a capacity for the representation of ficta. Secondly, and inspired by the work of Roger Scruton, I develop an (...) account of how it is that cinema represents ficta on which this is fundamentally a matter of dramatic/theatrical representation. I argue that in cinematic fiction photography delivers a pre-existent representation of ficta rather than creating or generating fictional content. With this being so, the claim that photography is fictionally incompetent is compatible with cinematic fiction. 1. (shrink)
Hans Muller has recently attempted to show that Frank Jackson cannot assert the existence of <span class='Hi'>qualia</span> without thereby falsifying himself on the matter of such mental states being epiphenomenal with respect to the physical world. I argue that Muller misunderstands the commitments of <span class='Hi'>qualia</span> epiphenomenalism and that, as a result, his arguments against Jackson do not go through.