Pictures and singular thought


Abstract
How do we acquire thoughts and beliefs about particulars by looking at pictures? One kind of reply essentially compares depiction to perception, holding that picture-perception is a form of remote object-perception. Lopes’s theory that pictures refer by demonstrative identification, and Walton’s transparency theory for photographs, constitute such remote acquaintance theories of depiction. The main purpose of this paper is to defend an alternative conception of pictures, on which they are not suitable for acquainting us with particulars but for acquainting us with certain kinds of properties. This conception is outlined in §4, where it is argued that pictures are useful devices for what Heal has called indexical predication. In §2 and §3, I explain why I believe that remote acquaintance theories are false, and why picture-perception cannot function as a form of extended or remote object-perception. The main reason is that the contents of picture-perceptions do not themselves provide the kind of numerical and contextual information required for singular thought. Picture-reference is instead secured by independent beliefs or linguistic communication about the causal history of pictures as objects. In other words, it is beliefs about the numerical identity of pictures as objects that anchors the reference of the representational contents of pictures.
Keywords depiction  reference  de re thought
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1540-6245.2009.01388.x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 40,131
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Pictures, Presence and Visibility.Solveig Aasen - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):187-203.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Irony in Pictures.G. Currie - 2011 - British Journal of Aesthetics 51 (2):149-167.
Pictures, Colour and Resemblance.Michael Newall - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (225):587–595.
Hallucinatory Pictures.Roberto Casati - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (3):365-368.
Why the Pictorial Relation is Not Reference.Alon Chasid - 2004 - British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (3):226-247.
Understanding Pictures.Dominic Lopes - 1996 - Oxford University Press.
Pictures, Pictorial Contents and Vision.Dominic Gregory - 2010 - British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (1):15-32.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-08-29

Total views
192 ( #34,615 of 2,237,181 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #379,590 of 2,237,181 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature