Varieties of visual representation

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (2):183-206 (2002)
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Abstract

Pictorial representation is one species of visual representation--but not the only one, I argue. There are three additional varieties or species of visual representation--namely 'structural', 'aspect' and 'integrative' representation--which together comprise a category of 'delineative' rather than depictive visual representation. I arrive at this result via consideration of previously neglected orientational factors that serve to distinguish the two categories. I conclude by arguing that pictures (unlike 'delineations') are not physical objects, and that their multiplicity and modal narrowness motivates a view of them as instead being (one kind of) 'delineatively' represented content or subject matter, as represented by those objects that are (commonly but wrongly, in my view) assumed to be pictures.

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John Dilworth
Western Michigan University

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