Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (2):197–210 (2004)
|Abstract||Many have held that photographs give us a ﬁrmer epistemic connection to the world than do other depictive representations. To take just one example, Bazin famously claimed that “The objective nature of photography confers on it a quality of credibility absent from all other picture-making” ([Bazin, 1967], 14). Unfortunately, while the intuition in question is widely shared, it has remained poorly understood. In this paper we propose to explain the special epistemic status of photographs. We take as our starting place (in §1) Kendall Walton’s startling proposal that photographs are special because they are “transparent” [Walton, 1984] — that is, that they are special because, unlike other depictive representations, they enable us literally to see their depicta.1 Walton’s proposal has not convinced many; however, it has proven surprisingly diﬃcult to say just what is wrong about the transparency thesis. In §§2–4 we’ll rise to this challenge and show why photographs are not transparent in Walton’s sense. Finally, in §§5–7 we’ll propose and defend a novel diagnosis of what is epistemically special about photographs.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Kendall L. Walton (2008). Marvelous Images: On Values and the Arts. Oxford University Press.
Aaron Meskin & Jonathan Cohen (2008). Photographs as Evidence. In Scott Walden (ed.), Photography and Philosophy: Essays on the Pencil of Nature. Blackwell.
Dominic McIver Lopes (2003). The Aesthetics of Photographic Transparency. Mind 112 (447):434--48.
Robert Hopkins (2012). Factive Pictorial Experience: What's Special About Photographs? Noûs 46 (4):709-731.
Jiri Benovsky (2011). Three Kinds of Realism About Photographs. Journal of Speculative Philosophy 25 (4):375-395.
Bence Nanay (2010). Transparency and Sensorimotor Contingencies: Do We See Through Photographs? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (4):463-480.
Catharine Abell (2010). The Epistemic Value of Photographs. In Catharine Abell & Katerina Bantinaki (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Depiction. Oxford University Press.
Mikael Pettersson (2011). Depictive Traces: On the Phenomenology of Photography. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 69 (2):185-196.
Aaron Meskin (2004). On the Epistemic Value of Photographs. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (2):197 - 210.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads98 ( #8,144 of 722,774 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #60,541 of 722,774 )
How can I increase my downloads?