Graduate studies at Western
European Journal of Philosophy 11 (2):177–205 (2003)
|Abstract||In 1907, Alfred Stieglitz took what was to become one of his signature photographs, The Steerage. Stieglitz stood at the rear of the ocean liner Kaiser Wilhelm II and photographed the decks, ﬁrst-class passengers above and steerage passengers below, carefully exposing the ﬁlm to their reﬂected light. Later, in the darkroom, Stieglitz developed this ﬁlm and made a number of prints from the resulting negative. The photograph is a familiar one, an enduring piece of social commentary, but what exactly is The Steerage which Stieglitz has given us? It is clearer what The Steerage is not. It is distinct from each of its prints and from its negative. These may be dusty or torn without The Steerage being so, and any one of these could be destroyed without thereby destroying The Steerage itself. Nor is The Steerage the set of its prints. The set could not have had diﬀerent members, while The Steerage could have had more, fewer, or diﬀerent prints.1 Similar reasoning rules out the mereological sum of parts of its actual prints, for The Steerage’s prints might not have comprised just these parts. We are left with a puzzle, what sort of thing is a photograph? This puzzle is not unique to photography. Similar reasoning generates an analogous puzzle for any repeatable work of art. Novels, poems, plays, symphonies, songs, and the rest share an ontological predicament and create a 1 general puzzle concerning the ontological status of repeatable works of art. It is widely held that the puzzle has an equally general solution, one which I will argue fails for systematic reasons. Although my target here is the supposed solution to the general problem, photography will remain the central case under scrutiny. I oﬀer it as a model for our thinking about the wider class in order to reap the beneﬁts of thinking in terms of concrete cases. Although this risks a trade-oﬀ with the generality of my conclusions—there are important diﬀerences of detail between the cases—I hope it is clear that the considerations I appeal to in photography are not idiosyncratic but shared by the wider class..|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Neil Feit (2001). Rationality and Puzzling Beliefs. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (1):29-55.
Dawn M. Phillips (2009). Photography and Causation: Responding to Scruton's Scepticism. British Journal of Aesthetics 49 (4):327-340.
Gabriel Uzquiano (2010). How to Solve the Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever in Two Questions. Analysis 70 (1):39-44.
Erik J. Wielenberg (2001). The New Paradox of the Stone Revisited. Faith and Philosophy 18 (2):261-268.
Steven M. Dunphy (2004). Demonstrating the Value of Diversity for Improved Decision Making: The “Wuzzle-Puzzle” Exercise. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 53 (4):325-331.
Robert C. Robinson (2007). S5 Solution to the Red Hat Puzzle. Disputatio 2 (22):1 - 7.
Brian Rabern & Landon Rabern (2008). A Simple Solution to the Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever. [REVIEW] Analysis 68 (2):105-112.
Phillip Prodger (2009). Darwin's Camera: Art and Photography in the Theory of Evolution. Oxford University Press.
Christy Mag Uidhir (2009). Unlimited Additions to Limited Editions. Contemporary Aesthetics 7.
Jiri Benovsky (2011). What Photographs Are (and What They Are Not). Disputatio 4 (31):239 - 254.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads42 ( #31,975 of 757,560 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #38,592 of 757,560 )
How can I increase my downloads?