Depicting Depictions

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):453-479 (2017)
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How is it possible for a picture to depict a picture? Proponents of perceptual theories of depiction, who argue that the content of a picture is determined, in part, by the visual state it elicits in suitable viewers, that is, by a state of seeing-in, have given a plausible answer to this question. They say that a picture depicts a picture, in part, because, under appropriate conditions of observation, a suitable viewer will be able to see a picture in the picture. In this article, I first argue that this answer is in conflict with the way in which some of the most influential perceptual theories of depiction – Robert Hopkins's version of the experienced resemblance theory and Dominic Lopes's version of the recognition theory – construe seeing-in. I then formulate a version of the recognition theory that avoids this conflict and show how it can explain the depiction of pictures.

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Rene Jagnow
University of Georgia

Citations of this work

Twofold Pictorial Experience.René Jagnow - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (4):853-874.

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Action in Perception. [REVIEW]Alva Noë - 2005 - Journal of Philosophy 102 (5):259-272.
Languages of Art.Nelson Goodman - 1970 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 3 (1):62-63.
Mimesis as Make-Believe.Kendall L. Walton - 1996 - Synthese 109 (3):413-434.
Mimesis as Make-Believe: On the Foundations of the Representational Arts.Kendall L. Walton - 1990 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 49 (2):161-166.

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