Depiction unexplained: Peacocke and Hopkins on pictorial representation

British Journal of Aesthetics 43 (3):279-288 (2003)

My aim is to show that the accounts of depiction offered by Christopher Peacocke and Robert Hopkins assume rather than explain one of the central features of depiction. This feature is pictorial realism. It is a constraint upon any adequate theory of depiction that it be able to explain pictorial realism; however, Peacocke and Hopkins seek to meet this constraint by employing the notion of resemblance. I raise three problems with Peacocke's account and point out an error in Hopkins's use of solid angles (upon which his notion of resemblance rests). It is suggested that while these theories must be rejected, there are various non-resemblance theories, including that proposed by Gombrich, which might prove adequate.
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DOI 10.1093/bjaesthetics/43.3.279
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