In defence of fictional incompetence

Ratio 23 (2):141-150 (2010)
Abstract
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.
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