Sight and Sensibility: Evaluating Pictures

Clarendon Press (2005)
Abstract
Looking at pictures, we see in them the scenes they depict, and any value they have springs from these experiences of seeing-in. Sight and Sensibility presents the first detailed and comprehensive theory of evaluating pictures. Dominic Lopes confronts the puzzle of how the value of seeing anything in a picture can exceed that of seeing it face to face - his solution pinpoints how seeing-in is like and unlike ordinary seeing. Moreover, since part of what we see in pictures is emotional expressions, his book also develops a theory of expression especially tailored to pictures. Not all evaluations of pictures as opportunities for seeing-in are aesthetic - others are cognitive or moral. Lopes argues that these evaluations interact, for some imply others. His argument entails novel conceptions of aesthetic and cognitive evaluation, such that aesthetic evaluation is distinguished from art evaluation as essentially tied to experience, and that cognitive evaluations assess cognitive capacities, including perceptual ones. Ultimately, Lopes defends images against the widespread criticism that they thwart serious thought, especially moral thought, because they merely replicate ordinary experience. He concludes by presenting detailed case studies of the contribution pictures can make to moral reflection. Sight and Sensibility will be essential reading for anyone working in aesthetics and art theory, and for all those intrigued by the power of images to affect our lives.
Keywords Judgment (Aesthetics  Pictures
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Call number BH301.J8.L67 2005
ISBN(s) 9780199230440   0199277346   0199230447
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Citations of this work BETA
Peter Goldie (2010). Virtues of Art. Philosophy Compass 5 (10):830-839.
Dominic McIver Lopes (2008). Virtues of Art: Good Taste. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 82 (1):197-211.
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Robert Hopkins (2008). Reasons for Looking: Lopes on the Value of Pictures. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (2):556-569.
Robert Hopkins (2000). Touching Pictures. British Journal of Aesthetics 40 (1):149-167.
J. Hyman (2006). Sight and Sensibility: Evaluating Pictures. British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (2):204-206.
Robert Hopkins (1997). Pictures and Beauty. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 97 (2):177–194.
Dominic Mciver Lopes (2004). Directive Pictures. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (2):189–196.
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