Scruton on the Inscrutability of Photographs

British Journal of Aesthetics 49 (4):341-355 (2009)
A long-standing objection to the artistic pretensions of photography is that, because of the ‘causal’ nature of the process whereby a photographic image is produced, the formative intelligence of the photographer does not play a significant role in the generation of the image. Only where we can see such intelligence manifested in an image, it is claimed, can we legitimately take the representational content of the image to be a proper subject of artistic interest. I examine the most sophisticated modern version of this argument in Roger Scruton's paper, ‘Photography and Representation’. I first critically examine Dominic Lopes's reconstruction of Scruton's argument and his proposed response to it. I then present an alternative analysis that brings out a central charge—what I term the ‘inscrutability’ argument that is obscured in Lopes's analysis. I then suggest how we can answer the inscrutability argument
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/aesthj/ayp042
 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
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,975
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
Photography and Causation: Responding to Scruton's Scepticism.Dawn M. Phillips - 2009 - British Journal of Aesthetics 49 (4):327-340.
Scruton's Wagner on God, Salvation, and Eros.Fiona Ellis - 2010 - British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (2):169-187.
The Ontological Significance of Inscrutability.Matti Eklund - 2007 - Philosophical Topics 35 (1-2):115-134.
Scruton's Musical Experiences.Nick Zangwill - 2010 - Philosophy 85 (1):91-104.
Fodor on Inscrutability.Jerome C. Wakefield - 2003 - Mind and Language 18 (5):524-537.
The 'Fine Art' of Pornography?Christopher Bartel - 2010 - In Dave Monroe (ed.), Porn: Philosophy for Everyone. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 153--65.
Melody and Metaphorical Movement.Rafael De Clercq - 2007 - British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (2):156-168.
The Epistemic Value of Photographs.Catharine Abell - 2010 - In Catharine Abell & Katerina Bantinaki (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Depiction. Oxford University Press.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

21 ( #225,744 of 2,048,203 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #245,334 of 2,048,203 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums