Seeing is believing' and 'believing is seeing

Acta Analytica 20 (4):10-23 (2005)
The principal concern of my paper is a distinction between two ways of appreciating works of art, characterised here in terms of the phrases ‘seeing is believing’ and ‘believing is seeing’. I examine this distinction in the light of an epistemological requirement at times at least grounded in what David Davies, in his Art as Performance , refers to as the ‘common sense theory of art appreciation’ in order to assess exactly what aspect of the philosophical approach generally known as aesthetic empiricism his account commits him to reject. I argue that the ‘experiential requirement’, if only conceived in a slightly broader way than is usual, might very well have an important role to play not only in the appropriate appreciation of works that do not demonstrate the need for such a requirement (primarily works of late modern and conceptual art), but also in the ontological account Davies himself favours.
Keywords experiential requirement  aesthetic/artistic properties  the ‘idea idea’  perceptual/experiential imagination
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-005-1007-1
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