When is a picture?

Synthese 95 (1):95 - 106 (1993)
Abstract
Philosophical discussions of depiction sometimes suffer from a lack of differentiation between several questions concerning the nature of pictorial representation. To provide a suitable framework I distinguish six such questions and several levels on which one might want to proceed in order to answer some of them. With this background, I reconstruct Goodman's and Elgin's answer to the specific question: What distinguishes the pictorial from the verbal or linguistic? I try to reveal some major motivations behind their system-oriented approach and to indicate some reasons why a strategy of this kind is to a certain extent mandatory to grasp the nature of the pictorial. The system-relative and functional character of depiction has to be captured by every adequate theory.
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