Seeing What Is Not There: Pictorial Experience, Imagination and Non-localization

British Journal of Aesthetics 51 (3):279-294 (2011)
Pictures let us see what is not there. Or rather, since what pictures depict is not really there, we do not really see the things they are pictures of. Ever since Richard Wollheim introduced the notion of seeing-in into philosophical aesthetics, as part of his theory of depiction, there has been a lively debate about how, precisely, to understand this experience. However, one (alleged) feature of seeing-in that Wollheim pointed to has been almost completely absent in the subsequent discussion, namely that seeing-in allows for non-localization. When looking at a picture, Wollheim says, there is not always an answer to the question of where one sees a certain thing in a picture. If Wollheim is right in this, pictures indeed let us see what is not there: we see things in pictures, but there is no ‘there’ where we see those things. In this paper I argue against Wollheim's claim that object-seeing-in allows for non-localization. But there is, I argue, a pictorial experience, which is closely tied to seeing-in and which is non-localized, namely (what I call) pictorial perceptual presence
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/aesthj/ayr014
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,879
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Robert Hopkins (2000). Touching Pictures. British Journal of Aesthetics 40 (1):149-167.
Bence Nanay (2012). Anti-Pornography. In Hans Maes & Jerrold Levinson (eds.), Art and Pornography. Oxford University Press
Dominic Gregory (2010). Pictures, Pictorial Contents and Vision. British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (1):15-32.
Richard Wollheim (2003). What Makes Representational Painting Truly Visual? Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 77 (1):131–147.
Alon Chasid (2004). Why the Pictorial Relation is Not Reference. British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (3):226-247.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

48 ( #69,855 of 1,725,168 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

7 ( #93,209 of 1,725,168 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.