Depiction and Composition

In Resemblance and Representation. Open Book Publishers. pp. 99-116 (2014)
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Abstract
Traditionally, the structure of a language is revealed by constructing an appropriate theory of meaning for that language, which exhibits how – and whether – the meaning of sentences in the language depends upon the meaning of their parts. In this paper, I argue that whether – and how – what pictures represent depends on what their parts represent should likewise by revealed by the construction of appropriate theories of representation for the symbol system of those pictures. This generalisation, I argue, reveals a much cited disanalogy between depiction and description is illusory: the structure of pictures, like language, is compositional.
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Archival date: 2015-06-29
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