The Return Of Photographs As Genuine Prostheses: In Response To Cohen And Meskin’s Principled Disqualification Of Photographs

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Kendall Walton argues that photographs, like mirrors and microscopes, meet sufficient conditions to be considered a kind of prosthesis for seeing. Well aware of the controversiality of this claim, he offers three criteria for perception met by photographs like other perceptual aids which makes them transparent –that is, we see through them.1(II) Jonathan Cohen and Aaron Meskin attempt to refute the transparency thesis by arguing that photographs cannot be genuine prostheses for seeing because they fail to meet another necessary condition, namely that of egocentric spatial information (ESI). Only devices that belong to a process type that carries ESI are, in principle, genuine prostheses for seeing.2 (III) I will offer a two- part refutation of the proposed disqualification of photographs by 1) offering an example of a case where another instance of the process-type to which photographs belong carries ESI, establishing the reliability of the process type that allegedly precluded photographs from qualifying (IV) and 2) offering another example to illustrate how photographs can meet the ESI condition. (V)
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Archival date: 2019-08-02
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