There is a variety of epistemic roles to which photographs are better suited than non-photographic pictures. Photographs provide more compelling evidence of the existence of the scenes they depict than non-photographic pictures. They are also better sources of information about features of those scenes that are easily overlooked. This chapter examines several different attempts to explain the distinctive epistemic value of photographs, and argues that none is adequate. It then proposes an alternative explanation of their epistemic value. (...) The chapter argues that photographs play the epistemic roles they do because they are typically rich sources of depictively encoded information about the scenes they depict, and reliable depictive representations of those scenes. It then explains why photographs differ from non-photographic pictures in both respects. (shrink)
For the metaphysician, photographs are very puzzling entities indeed. And even from the non-philosopher's intuitive point of view, it is not that clear what sort of thing a photograph is. Typically, if a client wants to purchase a photograph, she can mean very different things by 'buying a photograph' : she can mean to buy a print or a number of prints, or she can mean to buy a negative (when traditional film photographs are concerned) or a file (...) (when digital photography is concerned), or she can mean to buy a right to use a photograph a precisely determined number of times in a number of brochures or on a website, and so on. When facing a new client, I always, without exception, face the problem of explaining to her what it is that she is actually buying – and it is not always clear that she is ever buying a photograph. As a metaphysician, I face a much more difficult challenge : find out to what ontological category photographs belong to. Are they concrete spatio-temporal entities like prints, are they universals since there can be many 'prints-instances' of a same photograph, are they sets or aggregates of prints, or something even different ? This is the task that I wish to undertake in this paper : examine all plausible metaphysical categories to which photographs could belong to, and see which one is the fittest. As we shall see, in this 'survival for the fittest' competition between traditional metaphysical categories, there will be no real winner : several categories will reveal themselves to be enlightening and useful when describing features of what photographs are, but none will prove to be entirely satisfactory. Photographs, it seems, are a sort of borderline entities that share some but not all aspects of several traditional metaphysical categories. Is it then justified to postulate a new ontological category to which photographs would properly belong ? On mainly methodological grounds, I shall argue that it is not, and I will suggest a different way out of this metaphysician's trouble by defending a nihilism about photographs. To put it bluntly, I will defend the claim that photographs do not exist – but I will also argue that this is not a very revisionary or anti-commonsensical claim. (shrink)
Photography has often been scrutinized regarding its relationship to reality or historical truth. This includes not only the indexicality of photography, but also the question of how structures and processes that comprise history and historical events can be depicted. In this context, the Holocaust provides a particular challenge to photography. As has been discussed in numerous publications, this historic event marks the “limits of representation.” Nevertheless there are many photographs “showing” the Holocaust that have been produced in different contexts (...) that bespeak the photographers’ gaze and the circumstances of the photographs’ production. Some of the pictures have become very well known due to their frequent reproduction, even though they often do not show the annihilation itself, but situations different from that; their interpretation as Holocaust pictures results rather from a metonymic deferral. When these pictures are frequently reproduced they are transformed into symbolic images, that is, images that can be removed from their specific context, and in this way they come to signify abstract concepts such as “evil.” Despite being removed from their specific context these images can, as this essay argues, refer to historical truth. First, I explore the arguments of some key theorists of photography to investigate the relationship between photography and reality in general, looking at their different concepts of reality, history, and historical truth, as well as the question of the meaning of images. Second, I describe the individual circumstances in which some famous Holocaust pictures were taken in order to analyze, by means of three examples, the question what makes these specific pictures so particularly suitable to becoming symbolic images and why they may—despite their abstract meaning—be able to depict historical truth. (shrink)
Aspects of phronetic social science and phronetic organization research have been much debated over the recent years. So far, the visual aspects of communicating phronesis have gained little attention. Still organizations try to convey a desirable image of respectability and success, both internally and externally to the public. A channel for such information is corporate reporting, and particularly CSR reporting embrace values like fairness, goodness, and sustainability. This study explores how visual portrayals of supposedly wise and discerning values (phronesis) are (...) used to reinforce the verbal features of CSR reporting. The two propositions underlying this study is (1) that visual images form some of the major parts of the structures of contemporary corporate reporting (particularly CSR reporting) and (2) that phronetic action in organizations is subjected not only to textual documentation, but also to visual expressions. This study also discusses how the Aristotelian concept of phronesis can be linked to contemporary concerns about responsibility, and how this is visually represented in CSR reporting. Finally, this study addresses the symbolic and contextual signification of images in corporate accounts of wisdom and responsibility. (shrink)
Images come in many varieties, but for evidential purposes, photographs are privileged. Recent advances in neuroimaging provide us with a new type of image that is used as scientific evidence. Brain images are epistemically compelling, in part because they are liable to be viewed as akin to photographs of brain activity. Here I consider features of photography that underlie the evidential status we accord it, and argue that neuroimaging diverges from photography in ways that seriously undermine the photographic (...) analogy. While neuroimaging remains an important source of scientific evidence, proper interpretation of brain images is much more complex than it appears. ‡This work was supported in part by a grant from the Leslie Humanities Center at Dartmouth College. I thank John Kulvicki for helpful comments, and Kim Sterelny, for making it possible for me to spend some time at the ANU with a grant from the Australian Research Council. †To contact the author, please write to: Dartmouth College, Department of Philosophy, Hanover, NH 03755; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
Many have held that photographs give us a ﬁrmer epistemic connection to the world than do other depictive representations. To take just one example, Bazin famously claimed that “The objective nature of photography confers on it a quality of credibility absent from all other picture-making” ([Bazin, 1967], 14). Unfortunately, while the intuition in question is widely shared, it has remained poorly understood. In this paper we propose to explain the special epistemic status of photographs. We take as our (...) starting place (in §1) Kendall Walton’s startling proposal that photographs are special because they are “transparent” [Walton, 1984] — that is, that they are special because, unlike other depictive representations, they enable us literally to see their depicta.1 Walton’s proposal has not convinced many; however, it has proven surprisingly diﬃcult to say just what is wrong about the transparency thesis. In §§2–4 we’ll rise to this challenge and show why photographs are not transparent in Walton’s sense. Finally, in §§5–7 we’ll propose and defend a novel diagnosis of what is epistemically special about photographs. (shrink)
What is special about photographs? Traditional photography is, I argue, a system that sustains factive pictorial experience. Photographs sustain pictorial experience: we see things in them. Further, that experience is factive: if suchandsuch is seen in a photograph, then suchandsuch obtained when the photo was taken. More precisely, photographs are designed to sustain factive pictorial experience, and that experience is what we have when, in the photographic system as a whole, everything works as it is supposed to. (...) In this respect photographs differ from handmade pictures, and from other information-preserving tools, such as the readings on a geiger counter. This distinctive feature can be used to explain what is epistemically special about photographs, and also to give an account of the distinctive phenomenology of looking at a photograph rather than a handmade picture. All this provides the background against which to assess claims that digital photography differs from traditional in certain key ways. (shrink)
Photographs furnish evidence. This is true in both formal and informal contexts. The use of photographs as legal evidence goes back to the very earliest days of photography, and they have been used in American trials since around the time of the Civil War. Photographs may also serve as historical evidence (for example, about the Civil War). And they serve in informal contexts as evidence about all sorts of things, such as what we and our loved ones (...) looked like in the past. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore the nature of photographs by comparing them to hand-made paintings, as well as by comparing traditional film photography with digital photography, and I concentrate on the question of realism. Several different notions can be distinguished here. Are photographs such that they depict the world in a 'realist' or a 'factive' way ? Do they show us the world as it is with accuracy and reliability other types of pictures don't posses ? Do they (...) allow us, as some have suggested, to literally see the world through them ? Below, I will distinguish three kinds of realism about photographs, reject two, and partly endorse one. Indeed, the label "realism", when concerning photographs, can stand for a variety of very different claims. The first (and quite obvious) distinction to start with concerns what the realist thesis is about : the claim that somehow photographs are more accurate or more reliable or that they somehow depict the world better than hand-made pictures can be a claim about the photographic image itself or alternatively a claim about the way in which photographs are produced. In the former case, realism is a thesis about how photographs look and what sort of information they contain, while in the latter case realism is a claim about the process of production of photographs. It is the latter claim that is the most discussed in the philosophical literature about photography. I will concentrate on this type of realism, of which I shall examine two varieties. (shrink)
It has been claimed that photographs are transparent: we see through them; we literally see the photographed object through the photograph. Whether this claim is true depends on the way we conceive of seeing. There has been a controversy about whether localizing the perceived object in one's egocentric space is a necessary feature of seeing, as if it is, then photographs are unlikely to be transparent. I would like to propose and defend another, much weaker, necessary condition for (...) seeing: I argue that it is necessary for seeing that there is at least one way for me to move such that if I were to move this way, my view of the perceived object would change continuously as I move. Since this condition is not satisfied in the case of seeing objects in photographs, photographs are not transparent. (shrink)
Sociologists, philosophers and historians of science are gradually recognizing the importance of visual representation. This is part of a more general movement away from a theory-centric view of science and towards an interest in practical aspects of observation and experimentation. Rather than treating science as a matter of demonstrating the logical connection between theoretical and empirical statements, an increasing number of investigations are examining how scientists compose and use diagrams, graphs, photographs, micrographs, maps, charts, and related visual displays. This (...) paper focuses on diagrams in biology, and tries to demonstrate how diagrams are an integral part of the production of scientific knowledge. In order to disclose some of the distinctive practical and analytical uses of diagrams, the paper contrasts the way diagrams and photographs are used in biological texts. Both diagrams and photographs are shown to be “constructions” that separately and together mediate the investigation of scientific phenoman. (shrink)
Merely rhetorically, and answering in the negative, Kendall Walton has asked: "Isn't photography just another method people have of making pictures, one that merely uses different tools and materials – cameras, photosensitive paper, darkroom equipment, rather than canvas, paint, and brushes? And don't the results differ only contingently and in degree, not fundamentally, from pictures of other kinds?" Contra Walton and others, I wish to defend in this article a resounding "Yes" as being the correct answer to these questions. It (...) is a widely shared view that photographs are somehow special and that they fundamentally differ from hand-made pictures like paintings, both from a phenomenological point of view (in the way we experience them), and an epistemic point of view (since they are supposed to have a different – greater – epistemic value than paintings, giving us a privileged access to the world). In what follows, I shall reject almost the totality of these claims, and as a consequence there will remain little difference left between photographs and paintings. As we shall see, 'photographs are always partly paintings' – a claim that is true not only of retouched digital photographs but of all photographs, including traditional ones made using photosensitive film and development techniques. (shrink)
It is commonly held, even among non-Bazinians, that photographs are typically perceived as more objective than other forms of depiction. The implications of this putative feature of photographic reception for the fiction film have been relatively ignored. If photos do have an objective purport, it would explain the power of a common device used in horror movies where a monster is selectively revealed through a degraded image, usually an amateur video recording. However, I argue that a better explanation is (...) forthcoming. It is not the objective purport of photographs that accounts for the peculiar power of these scenes, but the power of our imaginations to picture monsters far more terrifying than those that can be readily depicted. This gives us reason to be skeptical of the idea that the objective purport of photographs contributes significantly to the reception of fiction films. (shrink)
My great-grandfather died before I was born. He never saw me. But I see him occasionally—when I look at photographs of him. They are not great photographs, by any means, but like most photographs they are transparent. We see things through them.Edwin Martin objects. His response consists largely of citing examples of things which, he thinks, are obviously not transparent, and declaring that he finds no relevant difference between them and photographs: once we slide down the (...) slippery slope as far as photographs there will be not stopping short of absurdity. The examples fail in their purpose, but they will help to clarify the reasons for the transparency of photographs. Several of them can be disposed of by noting that they jeopardize the transparency of photographs only if they jeopardize the very possibility of perception. The others appear to reflect a misconception of the issue before us and the nature of my claim.To perceive something is, in part, to have perceptual experiences caused by the object in question. This is scarcely controversial. It is also uncontroversial that additional restrictions are needed—not all causes of one’s visual experiences are objects of sight—although exactly what the required restrictions are is a notoriously tricky question. One important restriction is that the causation must be appropriately independent of human action , in a sense which I explained . This, I argued, is what distinguishes photographs from “handmade” pictures, which are not transparent. Seismographs and footprints are caused just as “mechanically” as ordinary photographs are. So are photographs that are so badly exposed or focused that they fail to present images of the objects before the camera. So, also, are the visual experiences of those who look at seismograms, footprints, and such badly focused or exposed photographs. Yet we obviously do not see the causes of these things through them, Martin claims. How is it, then, that we see through ordinary photographs? Kendall L. Walton is professor of philosophy at the University of Michigan and author of a book on representation in the arts . His previous contribution to Critical Inquiry, “Transparent Pictures: On the Nature of Photographic Realism,” appeared in the December 1984 issue. (shrink)
Digital manipulation of photographs raises a different set of questions for magazine editors than it does for news.paper editors. Interviews with editors of 13 consumer magazines reveal that digital alteration depends largely on the editorial profile of the magazine. All editors interviewed refused to digitally manipulate news photos; however, opinions varied on the treatment of feature and cover photos.
This essay examines the relationship between the display of non-human animal trophies and masculinity through an analysis of progressive-era American wildlife photography. In the 1890s, North American animal photographers began circulating their images in sporting journals and describing their practice as a form of hunting. These camera hunters exhibited their photographs as proof of sportsmanship, virility, and hunting prowess.
We are told by philosophers that photographs are a distinct category of image because the photographic process is mind-independent. Furthermore, that the experience of viewing a photograph has a special status, justified by a viewer’s knowledge that the photographic process is mind-independent. Versions of these ideas are central to discussions of photography in both the philosophy of art and epistemology and have far-reaching implications for science, forensics and documentary journalism. Mind-independence (sometimes ‘belief independence’) is a term employed to highlight (...) what is important in the idea that photographs can be produced naturally, mechanically, accidentally or automatically. Insofar as the process is physical, natural, mechanical or causal it can occur without human agency or intervention, entirely in the absence of intentional states. Presented innocuously, the idea is that although photographs are dependent on natural or mechanical processes, they can be produced independently of human agency – particularly human beliefs. Presented in a stronger form, the claim is that even if human agency is heavily involved in the production process, the definitive features that make the photograph a photograph and determine its salient properties are nonetheless independent of human minds. In epistemic debates, mind-independence is viewed as essential for explaining why photographs occupy a distinct category among images and justifying a variety of claims about their privileged epistemic and affective status in science, forensics, popular culture and journalism. But, in the philosophy of art, claims about mind-. (shrink)
This Collision examines photographs of Santiago Sierra’s “Line” installations, discovering in these works a unique formulation of the tension between the social and formal aspects of contemporary art. Developing the philosophical implications of this formulation, this essay connects divergent trajectories embodied by the work (i.e. trajectories initiated by the material elements of the works, the body and the line) to divergent trajectories in contemporary aesthetic theory (i.e. the trajectory that emphasises the socio-political possibilities of artistic representation versus the trajectory (...) that emphasises a distinction between the formal aspects of art and the political effects of art). Developing the socio-political approach, I draw on recent work by Claire Bishop who, emphasizing the distinction between consensus and antagonism, argues that Sierra’s work enacts a democratic politics more rigorous than that of “relational art.” Developing a specifically aesthetic understanding of Sierra’s installations, I understand the works in relation to the constructivist interrogation of the nature of the line. Drawing in part on the philosophies of Alain Badiou and Jacques Rancière, I suggest that, whereas a social aesthetic tends to limit art to a didactic function, a geometric aesthetic enables a more rigorously materialist experience of the work without reducing the potential political force of the work. (shrink)
One of the fundamental pedagogical questions in teaching about human rights, war, and global citizenship is how to educate students to care about strangers whom they may never know and whom they may assume they have nothing in common with. At its core, this is an ethical question that highlights a problem in articulating relations between self and other. This article proposes a type of deconstructive literacy that uses photographs depicting suffering to address how viewers can consider their responsibilities (...) to other people in a world marked by violence. Critiquing normative pedagogical methods that use the visual power of photographs to impose ethics upon viewers, I outline how what I term a hauntagogical approach provides an opportunity for an emergent ethical relation between a viewer and the viewed. Suggestions for foundations approaches to pedagogy are considered. (shrink)
Use of patient clinical photographs requires specific attention to confidentiality and privacy. Although there are policies and procedures for publishing clinical images, there is little systematic evidence about what patients and health professionals actually think about consent for publishing clinical images. We investigated the opinions of three stakeholder groups at 3 academic healthcare institutions and 37 private practices in Croatia. The questionnaire contained patient photographs with different levels of anonymization. All three respondent groups considered that more stringent forms (...) of permission for were needed identifiable photographs than for those with higher levels of anonymization. When the entire face was presented in a photo only 33% of patients considered that written permission was required, compared with 88% of the students and 89% of the doctors. Opinions about publishing patient photographs differed among the three respondent samples: almost half of the patients thought no permission was necessary compared with one-third of students and doctors. These results show poor awareness of Croatian patients regarding the importance of written informed consent as well as unsatisfactory knowledge of health professionals about policies on the publication of patients’ data in general. In conclusion, there is a need for increasing awareness of all stakeholders to achieve better protection of patient privacy rights in research and publication. (shrink)
FEATURED IN EVENTAL AESTHETICS RETROSPECTIVE 1. LOOKING BACK AT 10 ISSUES OF EVENTAL AESTHETICS. This Collision examines photographs of Santiago Sierra’s “Line” installations, discovering in these works a unique formulation of the tension between the social and formal aspects of contemporary art. Developing the philosophical implications of this formulation, this essay connects divergent trajectories embodied by the work to divergent trajectories in contemporary aesthetic theory. Developing the socio-political approach, I draw on recent work by Claire Bishop who, emphasizing the (...) distinction between consensus and antagonism, argues that Sierra’s work enacts a democratic politics more rigorous than that of “relational art.” Developing a specifically aesthetic understanding of Sierra’s installations, I understand the works in relation to the constructivist interrogation of the nature of the line. Drawing in part on the philosophies of Alain Badiou and Jacques Rancière, I suggest that, whereas a social aesthetic tends to limit art to a didactic function, a geometric aesthetic enables a more rigorously materialist experience of the work without reducing the potential political force of the work. (shrink)
Walton has controversially claimed that all pictures are fiction because, in seeing a picture one imagines that one is seeing the depicted content in the flesh; and that in seeing a photograph one _literally – _although indirectly – _sees_ the photographed object. Philosophers have found these claims implausible for various reasons: it is not the case that all pictures are fiction; explaining depiction does not require an imaginative engagement and seeing objects in photographs is not tantamount to seeing the (...) object. I agree with Walton’s critics in all of these claims. However, I try to give some plausibility to Walton’s view. Firstly, I claim that is a misunderstanding. Second, I try to clarify Walton’s view of depiction by contrasting pictorial experience with perceptual experience more generally. Finally, I focus on the case of photographs and I l claim that although Walton is not right in claiming that _seeing_ objects _in_ photographs is a case of literally perceiving the objects, photographs share an important feature with perceptual experience: the content of photographs, like the content of pictorial experience, is particular in character, and that explains their peculiar phenomenology. I content, however, that the experience of photographs is closer to memory than to perception. (shrink)
Can digital pictures qualify as photographs? The commonsensical answer is that they can. We are happy to call a picture of a scene made with a digital camera a photograph. According to William Mitchell, however, we are wrong to do so. Pictures made with digital cameras would not qualify as photographs, because they lack a certain realism essential to classical, i.e. film-based, photography. In the following, I first present two ways in which film-based photographs are realistic . (...) Next, I discuss Mitchell’s position that pictures made with digital cameras are not realistic and, consequently, not truly photographic . Finally, I argue – against Mitchell – that pictures made with digital cameras are realistic and, thus, do qualify as photographs. (shrink)
The display of personal photographs in hospital is a common practice that has yet to be rigorously examined. The photographs displayed are subject to interpretation by the viewer and may lead to misunderstandings or miscommunication if clarification of meaning is not sought. This paper explores a range of possible meanings that the display of photographs in hospital may hold, based on a case study of a 15 year old boy hospitalised with a life threatening illness. Further research (...) is needed into the actual meanings attributed to the display of photographs in hospital by patients and family members. (shrink)
I examine some aspects of Mach’s concern for photographs and phonographs. I start with the phonographs, and I examine in particular Mach’s reference to this device in his account of the development of written language. My second point is a comparison between Mach's reference to phonographs and hieroglyphs and some very similar insights in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. Lastly, I address some aspects of Mach’s interest in photographical techniques, and I try to draw a parallel between Mach’s conception of mental economical (...) pictures and the method of composite portraiture developed by Galton. (shrink)
In this article I argue that the Farm Security Administration (FSA) photographs of the Greenbelt Town program in the late 1930s function beyond the goals for which the FSA photographs are typically known.1 The FSA photographs documented scenes of urban and rural poverty during the Great Depression to make the case for supporting President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal policies. In the midst of the Great Depression, the U.S. government planned and built three Greenbelt towns with a (...) utopian vision of modern living for displaced farmers and the urban poor. I argue that within the larger collection of FSA photographs, which typically portray images of American struggle and resilience, exists a group of photographs .. (shrink)
Using the concept of postmemory—coined by Mariane Hirsch—this paper explores the role of photographs in recalling past trauma in two families who participated in the anticommunist armed resistance in Romania. Members of these families were executed and the survivors had to endure further persecution. The interviews revealed that some pictures offer the frame for remembering suppressed memories. The images have peculiar meanings for different generations of the same family. For the participants in this study, seeing the photographs equates (...) to reliving a past trauma and giving a new meaning to it. Pictures function as realms of encounter and reconciliation between present and past generations of the same family. The first outcome of the process is memory recovery; in this, people also recover their identity and the result is transgenerational healing. Some of the interviews discussed in this paper were done with members of my family. (shrink)
Born in 1956, Santu Mofokeng formed part of the Afrapix Collective that engaged in exposé and documentary photography of anti-apartheid resistance and social conditions during the 1980s in South Africa. However, Mofokeng was an increasingly important internal critic of mainstream photojournalism, and of the ways black South Africans were represented in the bigger international picture economy during the political struggle. Eschewing scenes of violence and the third-party view of white-on-black brutality in particular, he began his profound explorations of the everyday (...) and spiritual dimensions of African life, both in the city and in the countryside. His formal techniques favor “fictions” that contain smoke, mist, and other matters and techniques that occlude rather than expose. Using angularity and ambivalence, he also ruptures realist expectations and allows space for the uncanny and the supernatural. He works with the notion of seriti . The essay follows strands in Mofokeng’s writings and statements in relation to certain of his photographs, most recently repositioned in the substantial 2007 exhibition Invoice, to argue that he has pushed for a desecularization and Africanization of photography from the 1980s to the present. In more recent work the scourge of apartheid has been replaced by the HIV/AIDS virus, a mutation of nature, exacerbating the spiritual insecurities of many people in post-apartheid South Africa. The essay concludes that Mofokeng’s work poses a critique of the parallel paradigms of Marxist-influenced social history and documentary photography in 1980s South Africa, both still highly influential, by attempting to reinsert aura into photography and by highlighting what secular Marxism has concealed and proscribed. (shrink)
The thylacine was a shy and elusive nonhuman animal who survived in small numbers on the island of Tasmania, Australia, when European settlers arrived in 1803. After a deliberate campaign of eradication, the species disappeared 130 years later. Visual and verbal constructions in the nineteenth century labeled the thylacine a ferocious predator, but photographs of individuals in British and American zoos that were used to illustrate early twentieth-century zoological works presented a very different impression of the animal. The publication (...) of these photographs, however, had little effect on the relentless progress of extermination. This essay focuses on the relationship between photographs of thylacines and the process of extinction, between images and words, and between pictures of dead animals and live ones. The procedures, claims, and limitations of photography are crucial to the messages generated by these images and to the role they played in the representation of the species. This essay explains why the medium of photography and pleas for preservation could not save the thylacine. (shrink)
ABSTRACTPrevious research has shown that disgusting photographs are better remembered than frightening photographs, even when the two image types have equivalent valence and arousal. However, this work did not control for potential differences in organisation between the disgusting and frightening stimuli that could account for enhanced memory for disgusting photographs. The current research therefore tested whether differences in recall between disgusting and frightening photographs persist when differences in organisation are eliminated. Using a set of disgusting and (...) frightening photographs matched for interrelatedness, Study 1 found that participants recalled more disgusting photographs than frightening photographs. This effect was mediated by increased attention to the disgusting photographs. Study 2 used Latent Semantic Analysis to further interrogate the relatedness of the photographs, providing converging evidence that organisation does not account for enhanced recall of disgusting photographs. Tak... (shrink)
The debate about children in art and the surrounding morality started with Bill Henson's photographs of naked pubescent children. It is wider now, extending in several directions. In particular, into freedom of speech , and its association with freedom in art This article explores these issues with particular regard to Hensons photographs; and the application of several of the moral theories to this issue.
_Edward Bibring Photographs the Psychoanalysts of His Time_ provides us with a unique pictorial window into a fascinating period of psychoanalytic history. It is the gift of Edward Bibring, a passionate photographer who, Rolleiflex in hand, chronicled international psychoanalytic congresses from 1932 to 1938. The period in question spans the ascendancy of Hitler, the great exodus of analysts to England and the U.S., and the Anschluss of 1938. A year after the Paris Congress, the last meeting photographed by Bibring, (...) Europe would be in flames. At Wiesbaden in 1932, we find an ever dignified Ernest Jones relaxing aboard a sight-seeing ship, and Helene Deutsch and Heinz Hartmann delightfully at ease at a coffee shop. At the Lucerne Congress of 1934, Anna Freud, Ludwig Jekels, Wilhelm Reich, Grete Bibring, Max Eitingon, and Franz Alexander happily converse outside a hotel. At Marienbad in 1936, there are smiling new faces: Annie Reich, Ernst Kris, Otto Fenichel, Edward Glover, and others. At Budapest in1937 the women – Anna Freud, Vilma Kovacs, Dorothy Burlingham, and Elisabeth Geleerd – speak animatedly among themselves. A demure Margaret Mahler and a chic Marianne Kris make their appearance. In 1938, we see a series of table shots, where analysts, now with suit jackets removed and even a few collars loosened, relax with their food, wine, and cigars. Bracketed by Sanford Gifford’s brief introduction and biographical sketches of all the captured parties, Bibring’s photographs, digitized and enlarged, retain just enough graininess to evoke a different era in the history of psychoanalysis. It is heartening to see the paragons of “classical psychoanalysis” as warmly human, their analytic reserve supplanted by relaxed affability. But it is sobering to remember that the high spirit engendered by Congresses – in Bibring’s time no less than our own – may overlay the gravest political developments and the deepest personal anxieties. (shrink)
Wind, water, and molten rock constantly tear apart and resculpt the natural world we live in, and people have always struggled to create structures that will permanently establish their existence on the land. Frank Golhke has committed his camera lens to documenting that fraught relationship between people and place, and this retrospective collection of his work by John Rohrbach reveals how people carve out their living spaces in the face of constant natural disruption. An acclaimed master of landscape photography, Golhke (...) explores in _Accommodating Nature_ how people configure the places where they live, work, and commune, both on an everyday level and in the aftermath of catastrophic destruction. Whether a ranch house anchored fast on an endless Texas plain, the shattered buildings and whipped trees left by a category 5 tornado, or the jagged cliffs of ash and rock created by the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens, the photographs unearth the ways in which new homes and lives emerge from the fragments of the old. Thought-provoking essays by Rebecca Solnit, Frank Gohlke, and John Rohrbach expand upon the issues raised by the images, contemplating the complexities of human and cultural geography and the relationships we have with our respective place. An arresting and vibrant visual essay combining magnificent vistas with intimate emotional detail, _Accommodating Nature_ exposes the intricate threads that bind our lives to the land surrounding us. (shrink)
This book offers a new approach to artistic representation, worked out in detail for the cases of paintings, photographs, and novels. It presents a paradox in the case of each of the three art forms, and argues for a thesis about the relation between medium and content. It then argues that the dominant theories of representation in the three art forms are incompatible with that thesis. Fresh light is thereby cast on familiar topics: the supposed phenomenon of ‘twofoldedness’, in (...) the case of paintings; the alleged ‘transparency’ of photographs; the ‘paradox of fiction’, in the case of novels. Illusionistic theories, ‘seeing-in’ theories, imagination theories, and resemblance theories are the target in the case of paintings; theories which take photographs to be transparent pictures, in the case of photographs; and imagination theories, abstract-artefact theories, and theories which mix the two, in the case of novels. Having raised problems for existing theories in these domains, the book proposes for each art form a novel way of understanding the relation between the medium and the content. The new model is developed first for the case of paintings: it is proposed that the face you see in a painting is a real thing made of paint, which is, in a way, a face, in virtue of resembling a real face. This model is then applied to photographs, and to novels, with care taken to explain in each case how a suitable object might be constructed in the medium. (shrink)
"In seventy-two essential texts from the nineteenth century to the present day, this anthology collects key writings that have influenced both the philosophical and the practical aspects of conserving photographs"--P.  of cover.
This book will interest instructors and students in classroom settings; conservators, registrars, curators, archivists, and collection caretakers; and anyone else concerned with the long-term preservation of color photographs.
This essay begins with a puzzle in metaphysics, the unity dilemma . The enduring debate between monists and pluralists can be understood in terms of a single problem, the supposed impossibility of including the bulk of our naive ontology in a single, all-embracing ontological category. Either one insists, as the monist does, on a unified ontology at the cost of surrendering much of our naive ontology to reduction or non-existence, or one accommodates the bulk of our naive ontology by accepting (...) more than one fundamental ontological category. ;For a suggestion of how we might resolve the dilemma, we turn to the case of photography. Because photographs---like symphonies, novels, words, and species---have occurrences, there is a temptation to think they must belong to a different ontological category from paintings and other central members of our ontology. I investigate a received view about such 'multiple' works of art, that they should be understood within the framework of types and tokens. I argue that the type approach fails to correctly account for photographs precisely because it ignores a sustained analogy between photographs and paintings. Unlike types, both photographs and paintings are temporal items, subjects of change and modal possibility, and are ontologically grounded in the physical world. ;I then generalize the lessons of photography and formulate a distinction between real and idealized objects. Real objects are genuinely historical objects, those which exist temporally, are subject to temporal and modal alteration, are susceptible to causal interaction, and are ontologically grounded in the physical world. Idealized objects lack one or more of these features, either because they lack a genuine history or because their existence is cut loose from any ontological grounding in this world. I argue that this distinction is independent of traditional distinctions between physical and mental, concrete and abstract, and particular and universal, and suggest that there are examples of real objects in all these categories. The category of the real is a promising candidate for resolving the unity dilemma because it shows us how seemingly disparate members of our naive ontology turn out to category-matcs after all. (shrink)
More than sixty-five black-and-white photographs as well as explanations on the aesthetic rationale and techniques used in order to produce these artworks, are featured in a representative collection of the author's thirty-eight years of ...
This chapter corrects for Susan Sontag's undeserved neglect by contemporary ethical philosophers by bringing awareness to some of the unique metaethical insights born of her reflections on photographic representations of evil. I argue that Sontag's thought provides fertile ground for thinking about: (1) moral perception and its relation to moral knowledge; and (2) the epistemic and moral value of our emotional responses to the misery and suffering of others. I show that, contrary to standard moral perception theory (e.g. Blum 1994), (...) Sontag holds that we can have general moral perceptual knowledge. I then explore Sontag's idea that certain emotional responses, like sympathy and compassion, can sometimes be impertinent, in virtue of their having false or illusory content. I explain why this is so, and show the epistemic and motivational problems it poses for moral sentimentalism. (shrink)